Pain Is Inevitable, Suffering Is Optional.

Pain is of two kinds, mental and physical. Both are experienced by all living beings and we humans are no exception. While most people can handle physical pain with medicines or by learning to live with it, almost all, cannot manage mental pain. Mind being a monkey, it keeps going back to the pain to re-live, experience and even get a perverse joy in that experience. Quite a few even make big shows of experiencing pain long after the cause has disappeared.

I am a follower of the Indian philosophical system of Vedanta, which teaches detachment called titiksha in Sanskrit. Titiksha along with the other five qualities that are mentioned in the Wikipedia article makes a person face life’s vicissitudes with poise and detachment. Followers of such teachings do not suffer. Since there are ways to avoid suffering, not taking recourse to them is the option one exercises.

All spiritual systems teach adherents how to handle mental pain and Buddhism is no exception.  Here is a Zen story to teach the same.

I hope that you enjoyed my take on this Friday’s 2 on 1 post. I had suggested the topic. My fellow blogger too would have some thoughts on this subject and you can read them here.

19 thoughts on “Pain Is Inevitable, Suffering Is Optional.”

  1. I watched your video after reading your principles. The most astonishing, uplifting, spiritual, enlightening answer to the day I had today. For the first tinge in probably 5 years, all in one evening I released childhood memories, things involving my upbringing, that I have not even thought about, let alone speak about them. It was a conversation with a friend whom had her master’s in counseling. After listening to my story, she had me read the 4 principles. When I read then and then watched the video, I know without a doubt, I had angels giving me divine intervention not part of the time, but all day long. Ending with this. I now know what it is that I need to do. I want to travel to the place where I can sit face to face with someone that will teach me these principles That is my answer. I’ve searched for years and not found it. But. . I will be 61 in July. I figure if I can do this and can practice it, then the rest of my life will be my life……. my real life.

  2. We approached this topic in a similar manner. I must say – the more I come in contact with Buddhaism the more interesting it becomes to me.

  3. “Stay curious and open to life. No matter what happens keep learning and growing. Find what you love and find a way to share it with others.”

    “The quality of our lives depends on how we focus our energy and our attention.”

    That works too.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Nobel Peace Prize?

  4. Buddhism helped me to become a happy Vegan.
    it has been so much easier than i thought it would be. and it’s simply a reverence for all living beings. that alone appeals to me. just living day to day.
    i like Buddha. and i don’t put the ‘ism’ here. before. man comes along with his temples and adopts it and fills it with rituals and rules (like the monk with the sword) and really it is the pure simplicity that amazingly enough is never lost. and for that i’m so glad!
    i’m with you Shack. i have liked it for a long time now.
    a great post Rummy.
    tammy j recently posted..may day

  5. Mental pain can be pretty debilitating. I have psychological issues myself which go back many years. They’re gradually fading into the past and becoming less of a problem, but they’re amazingly embedded. I tried psychotherapy for a short while, without much benefit. I’ve never tried vedanta or any related practices.
    nick recently posted..All in the stars

    1. I carried many psychological scars till I started Vipassana meditation. As trite as it sounds, it was a remarkable way to get rid of the baggage that I was carrying for decades. It was meditation that led me to the study of comparitive religions and spiritualism. I chose Vedanta as being the most suitable for my personality and have had no occasion to regret that choice. Vipassana meditation incidentally, is a Buddhist technique.

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