How would you feel if you knew you could alleviate all your suffering? What if I told you that you hold the power to alleviate all your suffering? What if you learned that no problems exist outside of your mind.
I decided to check out this Buddhist meditation center a few weeks ago because I felt like I was hitting a wall in my meditation practice and wanted some new inspiration. I’ve gone to a couple classes now and have really enjoyed the Buddhist teachings and discussions. Let me preface this by saying I’m not some gung-ho Buddhist that wants to push my beliefs on you. I simply have found some interesting enlightenments that I want to share with you in the chance that you may find them interesting as well and may be able to apply them to your life as I have to mine.
Ok now that we know I’m not trying to get you to join some sort of a cult ;), let me share with you an interesting concept. What if you learned that all of your suffering could be alleviated? That is ultimately the premise behind Buddhism is to alleviate human suffering. And I’m pretty sure all the humans I know suffer soooooo that means this stuff can maybe help us. What we talked about a couple weeks ago in class was that no problems exist outside of our minds. No problems exist outside of your mind. Take a minute to think about that. What I learned is that the suffering we feel from our problems is actually not based on the problem itself. It’s based on the reaction to the problem. And guess who controls that reaction? You do. So essentially you are in control of your own suffering.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say your car isn’t working properly and you have to take it to the shop and get a part replaced. You say to yourself I have a problem. And you become upset because your car is broken. Any clue why? It’s because you made the car’s problem your problem. You are not broken. You don’t have a part that needs to be replaced. Your car does. It’s how you react to the car being broken that really matters. It’s the reaction that creates the unpleasant feelings. It’s the reaction that creates the suffering.
So how do you work to not allow outside problems to become your problems? When a problem arises, ask yourself is this problem outside of me? Do I have control over how I react to this problem? And more likely than not, YOU are in control. You are in the driver’s seat. And hopefully that is a liberating feeling. That you hold the power and control to alleviate your own suffering.
What problems are you currently facing in your day-to-day life? Are these problems outside of you? What happens if you change how you’re reacting to it?