Why do we suffer?
Question: Even though I have been on the path of Meditation for a while, I am still suffering. Unease and worries are always in the background. They make coping with daily life a challenge. Is suffering a constant in human life?
As human beings we don't want to suffer. From an early age we are told that we should have a good life; a life that is supposed to be easy and free from worries. Society tells us that in pursuing our wants and desires we can rightfully expect the results to be happiness and ease. Thus, when suffering does occur, as it inevitably will, we want to get away from it as quickly as possible.
Suffering comes and goes in a human life, whether our minds consider it fair or not, whether we try to avoid it or not. We suffer, when our circumstances and relationships don't meet our expectations and preferences. That is true for things as trivial as a traffic jam that keeps us from an appointment as well as for dramatic situations of loss - of a job, a home, of our health or of a loved one.
In most situations in life we think that we know what should happen and we have a precise idea of what the outcome should be. When we are confronted with the fact that life has different plans, and that these plans don't bend to our preferences, we suffer.
For suffering to occur, there needs to be an individual person, an ego that says "I exist and I want things to be this way". This I-sense is the human mechanism, the instrument that believes that: "I move the body and I determine what I think, what I believe and how I act." Unless we awaken to a higher reality, we believe this I-sense or ego to be our identity.
Can we reduce/overcome suffering with Meditation?
Through Meditation and the study of the science of Oneness, we discover that there is much more to us than this individual I-sense. When we close our eyes, we develop the ability to watch the movement of our thoughts, beliefs and feelings as the Observer or Knower. We tune in to the fact that the Knower who is perceiving the ever-changing comings and goings of the thoughts is unchanging. It is in fact the all-encompassing, infinite Self, the Eternal Presence or Pure I that is our true identity.
When our identity shifts from the individual I to the Self, thoughts, beliefs and feelings are no longer seen as belonging to me. As the Self, suffering is no longer part of our experience. As the Self we are aware of life and all its circumstances, but we are not affected by it. Without an individual I-sense with an agenda and expectations, there is just the flow of life as it presents itself. As the Self, we act freely, generously and with compassion, always in the best interest of all involved. For the Self there is no sense of suffering, because whatever happens is simply life unfolding as its own creation.
If you want to learn how to know your own Infinite Self and identify with it rather than with the individual I, contact Sampriya for a free 20 min. introduction to private Online Meditation Mentoring or e-mail her to be included on the invite list for one of our Online Satsang groups. The first Satsang is free and allows you to find out if our meetings suit you.