One From The Vault

Moving Past Suffering

Apr 03, 2023

There were two main reasons I was drawn to Buddhism when I went on my tour of religion. 

After opening up and experiencing all religions, I picked up and took away many gold nuggets of personal growth, self-discovery, faith, and hope from them all. However, I was always left in a state of confused contemplation of the various aspects in which they differed and discounted one another.

How do I choose one over another?
Who was right, and who was wrong about those differences?
Should I allow myself to be indoctrinated into the one that my MFTPS taught me?

So I chose none of the religions and moved to the one that wasn’t a religion but a philosophy that embraced the bright side of everyone and everything. Buddhism.

Secondly, I was fascinated by the observational study of human behavior of Suffering. Was suffering something that happened to us or something we created for ourselves based on our programming and concepts? In Buddhism, the concept of suffering is central and is known as "dukkha." Dukkha is often translated as "suffering," but its meaning goes beyond that. It refers to the unsatisfactory nature of all existence, including physical and emotional pain, but also the dissatisfaction that arises from unfulfilled desires, impermanence, and the general unsatisfactoriness of life.

The Buddha taught that all beings experience dukkha, which is a fundamental characteristic of life.

He identified three types of suffering:

1. The suffering of pain or physical and mental discomfort.
2. The suffering of change or the impermanence and instability of all conditioned phenomena.
3. The suffering of conditioned existence or the unsatisfactoriness of life itself.

Buddhism teaches that the ultimate goal of spiritual practice is to overcome dukkha by attaining enlightenment, which involves a deep understanding of the nature of reality and the cessation of all mental and emotional afflictions.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the two arrows of suffering as it awakened me to my role in suffering and helped me develop a beautiful relationship with it. The first arrow is represented by the one shot at you by the person or event you perceive causes the suffering. The second arrow is shot by you and aimed at your own foot representing your decision and choice to be a victim and suffer.

Your goal today is to learn how to use the IRS (Interface Response System) to pause and hold back from the second arrow by changing the way you look at the first arrow. Learn to do this and develop a state of gratitude and understanding for suffering and see how like the obstacle, it represents not a negative but a road sign by which you can navigate and grow by.

Make Sense?