Suffering Always Transforms Our Lives When We Become Ready
David Xi-Ken Astor
In each of life’s lessons we can awaken to the real path to liberation. Each good experience has the potential for unpleasantness depending on relative factors embedded in the reality of the moment. When we contemplate the deeper wisdom woven throughout the various levels of meaning within the Four Noble Truths we have an opportunity to comprehend how the notion of suffering is a transformative element of the human experience. This is always a really profound teaching. It takes work however to make this a positive characteristic of our worldview. Through knowing something we gain understanding, when we understand something we gain wisdom, and when we gain a degree of wisdom we become ready. This readiness is what is necessary if we are to experience enlightened moments.
I am going trough the “process” of watching someone close to me die. It is not the first time I have had this experience, and it will not be the last. But I am more ready now to understand the deeper wisdom of what is intended for us to know of the first of the Four Noble Truths relative to how suffering can transform our lives as it gives us the incentive, strength and vision to look beyond the reality of potential loss. It is not just about loss though, it is about how we are connected to this person and understand we will soon have to do what this person will not be able to do. What will I now be challenged to do in place of how this person use to interact with a close friend of mine? The dying individual always gives those close to them final lessons that are hard to prepare for. I have to put real intention in thinking about how my life will change as a result of this death that is rapidly approaching.
The Buddha’s awakening did not become stuck in the depths of how we suffer, but how we are to transform the natural cycles of life into readiness for those times we ourselves are to confront the realities of suffering moments with a mind ready to embrace our Buddha nature and what it means to be an expression of this Universe. Our practice is to drive our readiness so we do not yield to sadness and loss that only has an outcome of a mind lost in suffering without a way out. No one escapes hard times or experiences of suffering. We must avoid at all costs, however, thinking that suffering is good for us and we should want more suffering. Suffering is the opposite of happiness, but like happiness, suffering doesn’t last forever either. Let us learn not to make more of suffering then is humanely necessary.