Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Suffering is an essential aspect of the human spirit. Part of our development in life is a part of suffering and vice versa. The point is at some time in our life we will encounter a state of suffering. It is at this point that we will make a vital decision, either embracing the suffering and taking this as an opportunity to learn, evaluate, introspect, etc. and evolve are being OR to avoid and do as much as possible to distract from this state of suffering.

I am compassionate to those who choose the latter because I have done so. However, there was a point where I choose the former and I found that this created one of the most tremendous state of consciousness transformations. Through life and all the sufferings I have experienced and how I have choosen to experience them, I have learned a great deal and it is a part of why I am here today.

I reflect upon the buddhist philosophy of suffering and how in Buddhism it is believed that suffering is an important state for transformation and will cultivate compassion. In yoga, BKS Iyengar distinguishes between Right Pain and Wrong Pain...

Right Pain is constructive, exhilarating and involves challenge. It is felt as a gradual lengthening and strengthening feeling

Wrong Pain is destructive, and causes excruciating suffering. It is felt as sharp and sudden cautionary feeling and tells we have gone to far, beyond our present abilities.

The challenge of Yoga is to go beyond limits within reason, respecting our present state of being. One does not want to be limited by the mind and its fears. One must be willing to explore in order to refine and purify. This demands strength of will to observe and bear the pain without aggrevation. Without certain stress, stretching beyond our comfort zone, the true Asana or posture of life will not be experienced and the mind will remain in its existing limitations and will not move beyond its existing frontiers.

The point is too experience the suffering without fear and open yourself to a whole new frontier. You will develop a deep and sincere compassion for yourself, the experience, others and the concept of suffering. There is nothing to fear and be open and willing to the quality of experience in the state of suffering.

What you will find is that you have more appreciation for what it means to be in a state of 'happiness', 'joy', 'pleasure', etc. and you will understand better how to be there in your every day existence.

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