Buddha sought to find a solution to the problem of suffering. He knew that suffering is inevitable. We cannot escape it. We will all be alive, become diseased, and then die.
Suffering by his definition was more “dissatisfaction”, caused by our own mind. This dissatisfaction stems from our desires. Our desires stem from our senses and passions. Touch, smell, sight, hearing, taste. Our emotional world, what drives us towards something. Put another way, desires can become out of balance and become problematic: GLUTTONY, GREED, SLOTH , ENVY, WRATH, PRIDE, LUST.
Therefore suffering has a cause, our mind causes our suffering, the way we look at things and the way we allow them to become out of balance.
The way out of suffering is to make careful choices about our desires. Find a way to live with our desires, not wipe them out, nor indulge them.
Neither a hedonistic pleasure spree, not an ascetic renunciant, but a balanced middle way of life.
A state of serenity and peace from suffering, as I am learning, can be found in the practice of meditation and becoming mindful.
An ancient poem counsels,
“Like an archer,
the wise man
steadies his trembling mind;
a fickle and restless weapon.“
“The only gate is now, pay attention to now, to the present moment. the doorway to peace is your own body and mind. There’s nowhere to go, there’s nothing else to be, there’s no destination, it’s not something to aim for in the afterlife, it’s simply the quality of THIS moment.”-
– Jane Hirshfield- Poet
Lord knows my mind is full of perseveration, obsession and negativity. I have enough bitterness and resentment that is eating at me, mostly about him. I find it showing up in my dreams at night if I am able to repress it during the day. My ex has been coming to me in my dreams since I have been ceasing communications and my compulsions and rituals, I wonder when it will stop. I hate that he still has power over me even while I sleep.
Although raised in a strict Roman Catholic home, my faith journey has lead me from Latin Mass to an Hasidic Synagogue. This has already been a lifelong process for me. Certainly, I find myself in a place of turmoil at present. I know who my God is and who I pray to every night. However, the practice of taming the mind is Universal and is open to all. I am going to embrace this mindfulness practice. Start small 5 minutes.