Suffering Is Optional…

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.  – Zen Proverb

emotional pain

This quote references emotional pain. The kind of pain we feel when someone rejects us, abuses us, is nasty or behaves contrary to our expectation of them. How do you handle such pain?

we choose

We choose our reaction to life events. That reaction results in how we feel internally, whether we suffer or are at peace. Imagine an orange in your mind’s eye. For some of us our mouth will start to water and we might even sense a citrine aroma. Why is that? It’s because of our past experience with an orange. It’s not reality but we can feel and sense an orange nevertheless. Similarly we react when our self-image is affected in any manner by external events. Our self-image is impacted by external events, we identify closely with this self-image, we think it’s us, all it really is a bunch of reactions and a construction of our thoughts. We are not our thoughts, we are not our self-image. We are the awareness that witnesses the self-image. As soon as we can realize that and learn to step back, see things as they are, we can start to claim our true self. That self cannot feel pain or fear unless we choose it. Stillness quickens the acquisition of this self.

Daily Affirmation: Today I see truth.

Recommendation: Thich Nhat Hanh: Essential Writings by Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series)Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6