Suffering emerges when there is involvement of the whole being in all that arise, total identification to a transitory movement inside consciousness. Suffering is associated with a sense of an autonomous I, taking up all the inner space, relying on a dualistic thought and the belief in the permanence of all phenomena. Its root is the misidentification to mere expressions : a body perceived through the senses and a continuous stream of thoughts / concepts.
It is forgetting that the consciousness hides through temporary forms, to better reveal itself at the end of the journey… It is the millenary story of the human being who seeks a way to find the reality of his true nature…
Suffering is a denial by the mind of that which is, at each moment. It arises from tensions and from resistance to the flow of life. The mind, basis of the ego which seeks to control all, constantly creates an illusory existential reality to which we identify, forgetting that this is a mere creation of thought. We take these views as the basis of reality, and they become the foundation of suffering. At the origin of a suffering, there is always a thought, transient vibration that emerged from an event, and was then extended by the mental activity, although that event was past and had no existence anymore. We can see how all mistakes arise from these memorized, and constantly updated, thoughts. We carry in the mind a burden of suffering that gets heavier all along our path, consisting of attachments to experiences, situations, important events as well as peccadilloes of our existence, and which generates obstructions in our inner space. We go through life with the memory of disappointments, anger, repulses, with scars left by painful experiences that we have made as ours mentally. We see ourselves as isolated beings, assaulted by a world that we perceive as hostile, because it does not correspond to our desires. The feeling of a separate I, that is to say, the identification to a body/mind, makes us live constantly in self-protection and in a conflicting relationship with others. We are not able to trust relationships or to listen without judging. We lack understanding and love, because we are isolating ourselves within the broad flow of energy that animates the universe. We prefer feeling sorry for ourselves and positionning ourselves as victims rather than seeing that we are responsible for our sufferings, as it is inside us that suffering is created. All troubles stem from thoughts. While we identify to these painful creations of mind, they appear as real; as long as we identify to the ephemeral streams of vibrations to which we cling, we will be taken away to despair…
We do not understand the meaning of what life offers to us. We are looking for causes and remedies outside. We hope to protect ourselves from misfortune, illness, unforeseen through the illusion that we control everything. We live in the dream of a permanent happiness, in the safety of a well-being life, until life shakes us. Then, we see anymore than the challenges, the struggles, the sufferings. We believe that our existence is difficult, desperate, unable to meet our egotistical desires and our childish needs of protection. However, the path is as it is, and life is perfect as offered to us. Due to lack of confidence, we would like it to be different and we transform it into something painful.
The energy of life is never hostile to us, because this energy is our essence. Therefore, no proposed event can be hostile, because in reality, it comes from us. If we let it accomplish itself according to its energy flow, so our whole being will be deployed in the direction predicted by the intelligence which is carrying it…
Events are in perfect harmony with what we should and can live. What we consider as difficulties is proposed to us to get out of our torpor, to upset our convictions, to stop our outwardly quest. Every movement of life reveals the reality and invites us to transcend the appearance of opposites happiness/unhappiness, good/bad, health/disease… Our suffering does not come from the energy of life itself, but from our refusal to let that movement freely deploy through us. It is that refusal that needs to be identified. Everything is a gift. Everything that happens is life, pure in its essence, and offered to us through consciousness. All is emerging from that immutable space where life moves freely. Thus, each event is precious and should be considered as a blessing. However, its meaning is often lost because we are not ready to listen or we have a partial view, sorting out events and rejecting those that we consider painful. Only the overall perception of an event can give to it an other meaning than a binding necessity, generating sufferings. The arising of suffering depends entirely on the light projected by the mind on the event. Once there, suffering is rooted in the belief that we are what we are experiencing. However, we are the source of all the transformations that take place during our earthly destiny, the space of peace and love from which they emerge. Everything is to be welcomed in the silence of this space, the consciousness. Everything emanates from there and returns, in a perfect motion, as it is. There is nothing we need to retain or reject. Each event that we encounter is a reflection of the awareness that we are, and an invitation for us to adjust to reality as it is. All that matter is our openness facing what life presents to us. Life is our master, always just in its actions. The meaning of our path on earth is to penetrate ever more deeply in the heart of life, in its incessant flow of perceptions and sensations, to be ever more present to our true nature. When we flee sorrow, we run away from life. Alternation of joys and sorrows is the game of life. The purpose is to live the expressions of life, to let them express and disappear, without retaining anything. Those expressions of life are the projection of the consciousness itself, free space.
Take the example of illness. When we are sick, we have the ability to fully perceive this manifestation of the life energy as it expresses itself, without interference from parasite thoughts. Thoughts create the separation, source of suffering. Don’t allow our mind to separate the pain from us who perceive it, to conceptualize it, to tend towards a goal - here the healing - a goal that can only generates tensions and anxieties. Take with us illness and integrate it in us to abolish all duality. The will to cure by any manner possible is a sign of denial of impermanence in all phenomena. The body is nothing else than an apparent form of our true being. Why should it always be healthy ? Breathe slowly and in full awareness, to calm the emotions associated with the disease. At the heart of our breathing, we can perceive the intelligence of the energy of life. Its source is never degraded, never altered by anything. The disease is a temporary aspect of the source, which expresses itself at a particular time of our earthly journey. Everything we experience has a meaning. Illness can lead us to our deepest fear, that of death. It can indicate the need for a readjustment, invite us to more patience, more wisdom, more love and give us the opportunity to self-surrender. It can help us discover that we are not this sick body, but always the pure consciousness that is containing it. So, we understand that at the absolute level, the one of our true nature, illness does not exist and there is nothing to cure… Thereby, we accept, unconditionally, that it is part of our journey.
The hurt is an opening, a cut in the armor of the “I”, a path to our inner being. It invites us to participate differently in the dance of life, to consider another way to move along its perpetual motion. It requests us to discover our inner freedom while opening us. When misfortune hits us, let us be guided by the very force of life contained in this event. It shows us the path of life that embraces the relative reality of this world and that will lead us to discover the dimension where all is absolute peace. Feeling separated from the energy as expressed in events is generating suffering. The only life that we have to live is that which arises at the instant, seen in the mirror of consciousness. It is the moment that we live in harmony with the universal movement. When we lose touch with it, in the illusion of separation, we cut ourselves off from life, we see life both as something that spreads outside ourselves and as a personal movement, identified to an ego. To live is to be entirely within the impersonal flow of energy, in the movement of appearances and disappearances, without desire for permanence, without resisting to the simplification that life invites us to do to fully deploy itself through us. Our suffering vanishes by itself if we die at each moment, without carrying mentally each event. We are led, that we want it or not, in this cosmic rhythm. All phenomena are movements of energy. This is neither good nor bad, neither easy nor difficult. It is empty. It is the mind that conceives the energy of life as suffering. Our suffering does not come from the energy of life, but from our refusal to let its movements be through us. So, it is always life that comes to us with love, while we make selections among that which it is offering us. We only need to surrender to the energy of life. There is no other intelligence.
Thus, the question is not to escape from sorrows, to keep them away, but to acquiesce to their energy and bring them back in full awareness to their source, to where they emerged as undulations on the ever quiet space of the consciousness. It is essential to discover that place from where everything is manifested, from this ultimate reality, which never changes. Even if the whole universe were to be destroyed… We have to let “enter” all events, even those that upset us by their brutality, in this pure unchangeable space, within us, which encompasses all. When unity is accomplished, sorrows are no longer separated from joys, everything is integrated in this unity. Suffering disappears instantly when the duality fades. When there is no more separation and no more mental distance, only peace is there. Those who have realized that they are not what they experience, have found that peace that nothing can trouble, independent from circumstances, substance of their true being, causeless joy.
“Attraction and repulsion, pleasure and pain, rising and setting, infatuation and weariness, all those states participating in the forms of the universe manifest themselves diversified, but in their essence they are not distinct. Whenever you perceive the particularity of one of these states, immediately attentive to the nature of the consciousness as identical to it, why, full of that contemplation, do you not rejoice ?” Abhinavagupta