How Do I Know I Am Suffering?
“I’m having a great time,
so why should I spoil it
by considering suffering?”
Until we are dissatisfied with our luxury-prison, we will not have a reason to change. And those who are living in hell-prison are too occupied to even consider the possibility of change. It is only when we find ourselves in neither of these extremes that change is possible.
This is a difficult subject to discuss with others, and it’s one that we personally have to keep reviewing for ourselves by asking, “Am I satisfied?” We can become lulled into a ‘spiritual’ way of life, a spiritual-prison, which could actually be causing us suffering as we might feel superior, defensive or even guilty. We can become fixed and narrow…and this is suffering. We need to constantly refine our understanding which will advance us to the next level, where there is more room to breathe by letting go of all those things we think we are ‘supposed’ to do! There is a natural process of advancement. To start, we may need extra discipline or relaxation, but then we have to re-adjust. Spirituality is about recognising, relaxing and smiling. At each level, we smile more!
The four mind changes.
Preciousness of human body
Impermanence and mortality
Consequences of actions
The negative characteristics of social existence
It is not beyond our understanding to recognise how precious life is.
It is not beyond our reasoning to comprehend that everything is impermanent.
It is not beyond our intelligence to realise that there are consequences to our actions.
It is not beyond our wisdom to recognise that seeking happiness in a material world will never last or be satisfying.
This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy life!
In fact, we can enjoy life even more.
Joy is the key, and the expression of wisdom.
Of course the word “joy” is not something we mention down the pub; that’s bound to put people off! 🙂 These four mind changes use our intelligence to side step life’s constant ups and downs and laugh. When we start to understand how our fixated ideas are limiting our experience, we may begin to wonder what on earth have we been doing. And more to the point, we realise we have merely been conforming, to fit others’ social lifestyles… I mean enslavement…and we may inwardly resent this.
Change begins when we recognise
and admit we are suffering.
Life is too precious to just ‘get by’.
This leads us to the next stage…
…looking for the real cause of suffering.
One of the purposes of this blog is hopefully provide a language that makes it easier to discuss such matters with others: it’s so easy to become tied up in knots when encountering others’ negativity – and even positivity 😉 .