The Suffering of Suffering

As we take in the teachings of the 4 Noble Truths, we can begin to pay attention to the suffering around and in us. The Buddha suggested we hone in on 3 central themes.

  1. The suffering of suffering
  2. The suffering of change
  3. All pervasive suffering

These three encompass the essence of our human predicament.

The first one refers to the inevitable uncertainties of this life, all the things out of our control such as natural disasters, getting sick, losing our loved ones… none of us will avoid these events, but how we integrate them and to what degree we suffer from them depends largely on our view. Our experience of life is always 2 elements: what is arising and how we are meeting what is arising.

Buddha head

Observe yourself today and when something does not go as you expected it would, or should go, notice how you react by checking in with your body. What emotions can you detect pulsing through you? Do you hear yourself saying anything to yourself? It is very important not to try and control your feelings, as they are not what creates suffering. Rather it is our unawareness of how we actually feel and the unconscious behavior that erupts mechanically that generates the struggles. So today simply pause again and again to take a state check and notice how you are feeling from within in relation to what is happening around you.