This is from a letter I wrote to a friend who is undergoing intense pain and suffering.
The process of pain and suffering are part of life and make spirit look deeper than identification with the body, mind, personality, form, others and worldly success. It wakes us up out of the trance of false identification.. The Buddha was born a prince, but he saw suffering everywhere and found a way out of it.
The teachings of viveka – discerning the permanent/real from the impermanent/unreal;
vairgya – detachment – recognizing the wisdom of not grasping at or identifying with any form, including the body, mind, personality and worldly success as they are slipping through your fingers even now;
and jnana- wisdom – realizing your true nature, Unborn and Deathless, prior to anything and everything, help us see our way beyond pain and suffering.
One guru, Papaji I think, said life is like a bus station. One bus drops you off and later another one picks you up. No one knows when the second bus will arrive so do not get too attached to anything in the bus station.
This is why so many realizers of all spiritual traditions, east and west, live very simple lives.
One of them said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…. the kingdom of heaven is within you.”
In the work I do, I see the incredible suffering of humanity almost everyday.
From my experience, once it is fully accepted that life is suffering, then something else is entirely possible. This something else does not mean pain and suffering go away. Quite the opposite. It means they are accepted, expected, and then something else is possible. Loving kindness for yourself and all beings everywhere becomes possible along with expressing that loving kindness in speech, thought and action. Loving kindness is greater than pain and suffering, and makes life well worth living.
With all my love…..