Health & Medical Self-Improvement

I Don" t Want Suffering In My Life

Over the centuries Buddhism has grown into numerous collections of (mostly!) inter-related ideas, but whats it all really for? Well the Buddha himself was quite clear about what he was doing.
I preach one thing, and just one thing, he said, suffering, and the way out of suffering.

Now, perhaps maths may not have been his strong point, and expressing the point of his philosophy in negative terms (away-from motivation) might well have elicited disapproving noises from the present day self-development aficionados. Yet what he taught 2500 years ago and what life coaches provide in the 21st Century definitely point in the exact same direction.

When asked what it means to be a Buddhist, one teacher said It means that we are aware that we have work to do. I love the simplicity of this answer. Of course there are so many promising tools to do the work with; Buddhism is one, coaching provides others.

But what number of us perceive value in doing the work? Astonishingly, and sadly, majority of the people do not. There are several people in the world whose actions shout that they're satisfied with second (or 192nd) best; sadly their words and their emotional life make it apparent that pleasure is just not what they are experiencing 100% of the time :(

Why is it so alluring to accept so many drab or sad days, weeks, years? The Buddha said (with refreshing pragmatism) I decide to teach as there are a few people whose eyes aren't totally covered with dust.
His vision was that most people are so clogged up with the rubbish in their heads that they just can't understand that they're caught in a dreadfully sub-standard life, or that there are choices. This is possibly why you don't come across many Buddhists knocking on your door offering to guide you see the light - they're aware that most people simply are not in the space to see that there are much more amusing and rewarding options.

Another reason is the nature of suffering. It is actually a rotten translation of an Indian word that means sub-optimal frames of mind, which could be anything from the mildest sense of this moment being quite dull to the deepest despair. Majority of the people spend a lot of time on this spectrum! The question is, where is your threshold? Definitely, it is great to be in a position to tolerate being a bit down while not spinning out totally (and unfortunately several Buddhists in the West make a pastime of accepting misery in an inefficient - and unnecessary - way). But there are means to be much much happier majority of the time!

Do you aspire to be happy? I sometimes ask. The response I usually get back is Oh well, yes and no, I mean, things are OK.

This is very sad. Everybody deserves better.
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