How To Bid Sayonara To Suffering?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Suffering. How does one stop the pain of suffering? In the past few posts, I have been ranting about the cause and origin of suffering. In this post, I am going to give the third Noble Truth of Buddhism, a chance to create some sense for me and for you.

Before I proceed, I am just going to do us all a favor and clear the water by saying that I don't mean to disrespect any religious or spiritual beliefs here. I am merely writing, in a completely incoherent manner, to hopefully reach a coherent understanding of this subject of suffering.

The basis of suffering is simple really. When any part of reality, does not match up with the expectations, we have in our minds, we invite Mr. Suffering in. It is that easy to have that wretched uninvited guest over because all you have to do is just sit twiddling your thumbs, with the company of your thoughts. That's it, you're lonely no more, just a little drained, nothing too bad.

So, now Buddha says, there is a way to end your suffering, child! You say, Yeah bring it on, baby! He then says, “Simple. Just stop your craving!” Well, if it is as simple as that! If you've been following my previous posts closely, you will know by now that suffering is there because of your own desires and attachments. And if you've not even bothered to read the earlier posts, you don't exactly need to be a genius to know this. But if you're sweet, you'll take a visit, right about now.

Now the question is: How do we end it? How to cut the cord to suffering and burry the murder weapon. Yes, today, we are going to learn some simple ways to murder suffering, at its roots. Let's just take a deep breath before moving on to my next sentence.

How to murder suffering before it starts murdering you:

1. Never underestimate it.

Expect to be surprised. Life is so full of surprises. And if you are in a state of mind that is open to new challenges and adventures, give yourself a treat. Though, this is a not THE cure to suffering, but at least, you're on the right track. Plus, you'll spare others and your own mental health, from the endless whining that follows people who refuse to face life's sometimes unpretty reality.

2. Test yourself.

Make a list of your personal life expectations. Drop that list in the trash. Do it again the next day. This is a lesson in abandoning your "desires," so that you are able to see the reality as it is. Say, if getting a dream body figure through surgery is in that list, you are now going to look at yourself as you are, warts and all. Trust that this process is going to be difficult especially when the mind secretly loves to play mental battle to boycott the new ideas that are making their way into your head. It is okay, just let that go. The trick is to know your mind and learn how to control it.

3. Suffering has its hands stuck in attachments.

So, how does one go around these attachments, and nip them by their necks? Again, this too takes time, so be patient with yourself. Start making time for new people in your life, if you notice that you're a little too clingy with your group of friends. I admit that I don't have that many friends in my life, and I am borderline clingy with the few precious ones that I have, so this is an area where I need to improve.

4. If you're already in a state of suffering, the only way out of it, is through it.

Yeah, roll your eyes. Listen, what does not kill you, makes you stronger. It is cliché, but that's the truth. There are no shortcuts, here. And even you know that. So help yourself, accept the reality and let your mind get used to the reality of your life as it is.

5. Be honest with yourself.

Nobody knows your own personal demons more than you do. Most of the time, it is a secret we cleverly seal up in the many layers of our minds. Though we can conceal our demons from the minds of others, our own minds get easily tangled up in a mess of our own making. We know it is there. That anguish, the pain of something, hidden because we are either too embarrassed or fearful of it. I know this might sound like you're back at point number 2, but it is totally different. It is about facing your real face in the mirror, and seeing it as it is. Point number 2 is, more of seeing a face made up with artificial paints and colors that screams out your expectation of beauty.

6. Go back at point number 1, slow and steady.

It's a life-long process if you are really indeed serious about the ending of your suffering. Nobody has ever achieved a life free from the univited guest, in a single lifetime, but you can always try. Don't ask me what I meant by a single lifetime, I don't claim to know if there's life after death.

Feel free to drop any suggestions on living this life free from suffering. I will be delighted to read all your comments, and hopefully we'll all learn something worthwhile along the way.

"We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival."
-Winston Churchill

shanaz@RS | 2:08 AM | Labels:

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