Many spiritual seekers are searching for an end to suffering.
What produces suffering? Often, we equate suffering with loss of control. We want to control our past, present, and future. When events are not going the way we would like them, we feel a loss of control, the world is not bending to our will and desires; from this, arises the experience we call suffering. All we think we need to end suffering is for the universe to conform to our idea of how things should be.
As long as we maintain identity as an individual, separate from the rest of life, we will experience our view of what should be at odds with what is.
Someone once observed, all we have to do to stop suffering is to stop wishing for what isn’t present now and start wishing for what is.
It sounds so simple, and yet, it is not possible while living as an identified someone.
Awakening is the recognition as the substanceless substance of life. It is recognition we are not primarily our body, thoughts, mind, associations, desires, or beliefs. After awakening, there will still arise thoughts, preferences, desires, etc., but they no longer carry the power to define life. Awakening comes with the recognition you were never in control, because there never was a ‘you’ to be in control. The mind is then recognized as a tool in the expression of life; it is no longer the perceived master of life. The mind still helps produce grocery lists, types these words, etc., but it no longer defines our belief in good vs. bad, happy vs. sad, right vs. wrong.
This is not to say life will be without pain. What changes is we drop the story we previously assigned to the meaning of the pain. Life continues to express in all its diversity and is experienced in all its diversity, all while staying rooted as its unchanging essence.
Nisargadatta reportedly told a questioner, “You are not experiencing suffering, you are suffering your experiencing.”
Drop the belief in the mind, body, thoughts, and emotions. As Life, all experiences are available; including, suffering without the identification, story, and emotional overlay previously experienced as a person separate from Life.
Freedom is not simply freedom from pain and suffering. Freedom is the freedom to experience all life has to offer as Life. Stop, notice who or what is believing any thought, and be free.
Peace Be With You, Steve and Bec