03 March 2012

Suffering isn't a broken leg

Some people like things simple, some people like explanations.  The problem with simple things is that they don't always represent the underlying complexity of what's going on.  The problem with complex things is that they can hide the real simplicity that underlies much of our life.

Here's the simple stream of consciousness reply:

The word suffering sucks.  It has too little and too much meaning.  

You can't get rid of the fact that the world isn't set up with you in mind.

You can't get rid of the fact that you have to deal with other people.

You can understand that though, and you can deal with it.  You can find a way to not just react to suffering, but to understand your relationship to it.

You can get pissed at something for a second, then recover yourself and find some equanimity.

You can feel pain and know that that pain is just temporary.

You can recognize that you can't control the world around you, and find some peace in that understanding.

So, that's the gist of my problem with that third rule. Very few of us will devote our lives to the practice and study of mindfulness, but that's not necessary.  We don't have to end something or control it, we only need to learn how to understand how transient and unimportant it really is.  

Suffering isn't the first feeling we get when something negative happens, it's our prolonged reaction to the event, our dwelling on the event.

You don't need to end suffering, you just have to not let it get too comfortable before you kick it out.

1 comment:

  1. With that said, I don't know that I've experienced suffering and that makes my last comment Obsolete.

    I cannot think of one thing that I dwell on at this moment. Thank you for posting this.