Friday, April 27, 2012

Let's Talk About... Pain & Suffering

"This is suffering, we should know. Once we know about suffering, then there is no more to know. Since suffering does not arise without a cause, by knowing the causes of suffering, we would abandon and purify the causes and the origin of suffering. Once we have purified the causes of suffering, there is no more to purify and then comes the cessation of suffering. By knowing that there is cessation of suffering, we would follow the path, attain the path that leads us to such cessation. Once we have perfected the path, there is no more to attain and no more path to follow." - The Buddha

Let's pretend you're on your way home from work. If you're from Calgary, the words "Deerfoot at 4:00pm" should mean something to you, maybe stir a little something inside?
Picture that traffic jam. Do you remember the feelings you experienced? How much you wanted to yell and swear and scream... especially at the other people in the other cars?
Been there!
Those people, though, are in the same jam as you. They want to get home and eat and be happy and not stuck in a stuffy car. They don't want to suffer.
But, what is suffering, really?
Suffering is not the traffic jam: that's pain. Suffering is your ideas about the traffic jam; the anger, frustration, boredom, worry, annoyances.
The traffic jam is out of your control; you are not Bruce Almighty (though it might be nice)!
However, you can control your suffering - work with it! You can learn to let it go!
This is what The Buddha means when he comments on "purifying the situation" - think of washing your face. When you do, you're washing away the dirt and grime and everything that your face has picked up throughout the long, long day. How great does it feel? Amazing!
Well, let's "wash" the suffering away - take away the dirt, the grime, the everything that is clogging your life at the moment and just let it go down the drain.

The suffering is yours and is what you make of it; take it and learn to let it go.
You can get over the "jams" you encounter in life.
Learn to practice tolerance, patience and compassion.


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