Suffering

Dear Wife,

I want to tell you about very basics of life. That is to get an understanding of what is a problem (or pain) and what is suffering.

There is a saying that I believe in most – Pain Is Inevitable; Suffering Is Optional. This is the foundation of Buddha’s teaching.

Problem – is an unwelcome matter or situation which you need to deal with or investigate.

Suffering – is interpretation of the problem with negative thoughts and emotions.

if you approach a problem with positive attitude you will work towards reducing or mitigating its impact.  If you look at the same problem with negative thoughts or emotion, then the result will always be suffering from fear, anxiety, victimisation, worry, depression or anger. Suffering uses negative energy to try and solve the problem in hand. Mind will try to escape from this suffering by deflection (ie making someone responsible for their sad state of being) and try to get comfort from the thinking of being a victim of something that is not in your control. If you think from a spiritual perspective – it is always your choice to decide if you want to approach it positively or negatively.

For eg. Take the situation that I lost my job. I can react to this problem in two ways. I can look at the situation and start building the next steps on managing the finances, approach right people to check available opportunities and prepare a contingency model for next few months. So there is no anxiety and hence no stress. Result is that you can still be peaceful. Though there is a running problem which has a potential to derail you few months down it will not impact the positive thought process. If I approach the same problem with negative emotions of anxiety, worry, fear or panic then I will be busy managing the emotions by trying to find a victim in others or myself, rather than a productive mitigation. These emotions will wreck your body, impact immune systems, destabilise your mind and you will feel miserable and also will make life of people around your miserable.

This is generally explained as seeing the bottle full or half empty, which many do not understand. Looking half full is having positive thoughts and emotions given any situation.

There is an old story about two poor friends. They built small houses for themselves. They lead a very mundane but happy life. One day due to a violent storm both their roof collapse. First one goes to the house and feels very sad for the house that fell. He curses god for destroying his hard built house. He gets depressed thinks that life is not always fair to poor like him. The second one goes home and looks at the collapsed roof. Feels sad for a while, but seeing a small part of the roof that is still intact in a corner, He finds abundance of the universe and says that oh god how thoughtful you were to leave me a small part of the roof thinking about me.

Who do you think will bounce back from this problem first in this story? Not a difficult thing to conclude is it not.

Fault is always of the sufferer.

With Love,

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