Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

This is dukkha: birth is painful, aging is painful, sickness is painful, death is painful, encountering what is not dear is painful, separation from what is dear is painful, not getting what one wants is painful. This psycho-physical condition is painful.


Dukkha (suffering) is the second of the Three Basic Facts of Existence in buddhism. It is the common bond we all share. 
However, most of us spend a lot of time trying to avoid suffering, running from it, pushing it away.... We don’t want to suffer and we don’t want others to suffer.  What we don’t realize is that, by running from it, we actually create more suffering for ourselves. Because (see yesterday’s post about anicca)  We grab onto or try to push away things and situations that are constantly changing! 
So, Sit with your sadness or your anger, observe how the feeling moves around in the body or settles in one place. Observe yourself and how you react to various forms of suffering, how you respond to other people when they are suffering.
 

Once we can truly grasp this concept, and  recognize our habitual reactions to our suffering we can begin to change.
 

michelle kalinaComment