Can there be appreciation when there is suffering? Ever so often we all have an encounter with suffering, and some of us have fewer chances than other to understand what such an experience and opportunity for consciousness expansion suffering can produce. Suffering brings the opening for self-discovering, to be in perfect placement with circumstances and with ourselves. Suffering can open the doors for us to see the actuality of our condition, and by perceiving reality, we can effortlessly awaken the inert subconscious parts of ourselves. Since we are not separated from any man who is suffering, this condition can lead us to connect with everything and making everything being part of all. By witnessing suffering within, and without attachment to the mental noise, we can have the opportunity to embrace the state of oneness fully mindfully.
We should try not to run away from suffering or make it into our egocentric tragedy. Suffering is just another emotion, and just like any other condition it is a reflection of our learnings; hence, suffering is rooted in the past. It is also a casualty of our hopes and self-identity. This is a fact which very few people realise, this is not a philosophical concept or an idea, but an actuality. Suffering is the crash of desires into the walls of our reality. We think that we can somehow control the illusionary future by thinking that we are distinctive from the others and therefore with more prospects to be gratified with/by the world.
When our plans go wrong, the mind transforms this mere causality of hope into suffering. We feel sorry for ourselves and bitter about the failure of our condition. However, suffering can bring understanding to a boiling point, and by that, we can look into our situation and have a unique opportunity for more compassion towards ourselves. Suffering brings the reminder of our mortality and limitations; it is mindfulness manifestation with a tangy flavour. Nevertheless, identification with suffering is only a by-product of our conditioned mind.
When suffering emerges, which just like any other emotion, it is inescapable, try to stay with the feelings, locate it precisely in your body, embrace it as if we would with a child who just came home crying from a wound, feel its temperature, and pulsation, pay attention to the emotion alone. Close your eyes and feel all the discomfort without the mental noise, and then, something magical has the opportunity to arise. The understanding that life is about the journey, emotions, sensations, and not clinging to uncontrollable hopes and desires based on our lack or life comparisons.
Staying with suffering, is a beautiful mindful meditation, because by being conscious of the distress, we understand that the actuality of the state is only a reflection of cause and effect, and desire from the past and willingness about the future. Deep down, the layers of suffering from our unwanted experiences, are only the reaction of a conditioned mind trying to maintain control and not accepting what is. Suffering is mostly caused by the story in our minds, of our past or crushed hopes for the future. The denial of the mind of what actually is happening feeds suffering? If we do not accept what is happening at the present moment, suffering can bring the mind onto a stage of desperation, hopelessness, and then the condition will make the mind numb. The distracted and suffering mind will cling to what happened and forecast all the tragedies of what might happen, and that is the major purpose of suffering, to make us getting away of the now.
The quiet mind is able to have a mindful understanding of what causes the condition and so to be aware of its effects. The noisy mind looks for a reaction from a suffering condition and rarely looks for action. By being present and have an awareness of what is causes coherence, and only then, an action can be sustainable and no reaction needs to be involved. After all, grieving over what should have been can never bring acceptance to the reality of the present moment. Understanding our limitations and therefore, accepting the present moment as it is, brings peace and renews our perspectives. The fact is, we cannot change what happened, and by grieving over the past in an attempt to modify what already is. Trying to identify with sorrows is a reaction of a foolish mind. However, by facing the condition and staying with any sensation that might arise from it, without the mental noise, we can have the opportunity of letting go of our mind story, and something magical can happen, we can open the doors for a clear thinking and a coherent understanding of how to take action. We will not; of course, change the past, but for sure we will be able to deal with the suffering with greater sympathy towards ourselves and deeper understanding of our emotional condition.
The message is really simple, nothing is permanent, but agonising over what is or was is only a causality of our conditioned mind. Therefore, the mental noise can be avoidable because identification with the mind story is just another way of feeding suffering. A puppy when injured, will lick its wound with an undivided attention; it might not make it any better, but it is all he can do at the moment, and this is magical, because as the puppy is dealing with cause and effect, there is no mental noise and no identification. The puppy in this instance is just dealing with what is. Our suffering conditions should be treated likewise. Metaphorically, we should lick our suffering wounds without the attachments that come with them. After all, is there any choice which can bring us peace and result, if not having a mind focused on the present moment
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