The Buddhist say that “life is suffering”. That is the number 1 noble truth in Buddhism. That might sound as though we are doomed to suffer in life, because that is what life is on a fundamental basis – it’s all about suffering.
So, do we just live to suffer and suffer to live, or is there another way around this for us human beings?
There are many ways to reduce our suffering so that life does not have to weigh us down as much as what it is capable of doing. But before we get to that, isn’t it necessary to look inside ourselves and see how our minds are working against us? Our minds are just a fraction of what life is for us, yet it tends to dictate how we experience most things.
We become attached and identified to our intellect, not realising that the stories we have told ourselves about who we are and what this life is about is nothing but a series of memories and imaginations that come and go with time.
I’ve noticed that there is a very distinct difference between pain and suffering. These two are not the same and should not be confused. Pain is a sensation. It is neither good or bad, yet the judgements we pass up about pain is negative and this creates friction. We tense up over the pain and we begin to wish that it was no longer there. This is what we refer to as suffering – the resistance to pain.
What if we just felt the pain without suffering it? We would save so much energy, wouldn’t we?