Monday, September 21, 2009

How to reduce suffering?




Question:(Unedited) How does one let go to reduce his/her suffering as a layperson other than meditation?


My comment:

Hi,

Thank you for asking me.

There is no guarantee that meditation can help one to let go and reduce suffering. The most important criterion is to understand the Buddha's teachings and then to put them into practice.

Under normal circumstances, we react to external stimuli. We are happy when we get what we want. The more we have, the more we want.....greed. We are unhappy when we get what we don't want. The more we get those things that we don't want, the more miserable we become......resentment, aversion, hatred. Throughout our lives, we succumb to these external temptations and bombardments. So long as we fall victims to our desires and aversions, we will always be miserable. This is because we cannot be fully satisfied with our desires; and we cannot fully control undesirable events from hurting us. "To let go" in this Buddhist context is to understand the real nature of this life and this world; and then to skilfully surf through the waves of life while maintaining a balance in our lives. In this way, we can reduce our "suffering".

To be contented with what we already have. Not to crave for things that we cannot yet obtain. To live for this day, and not for tomorrow. Living in the present. This will set the mind free from unnecessary worry and unsolicited desire. When the mind is contented, we will be contented. The more practical approach is to reduce our desire for the yet unattainable, and to reduce our aversion of the undesirable which we cannot control. However, this does not prevent us from working towards our goals, and from taking preventive measures to avoid disasters.

Learn from yesterday,
Live for today,
Let go of tomorrow.

5 comments:

PM said...

Desire is just like a sword. The more you desire it pierces your heart and more suffering and no peace of mind.

PM said...

Desire is just like a sword. The more you desire it pierces your heart and more suffering and no peace of mind.

nicola short said...

i need to know how to be able to manage myself in a stessfull situation around people who are sick that are related to you.

nicola short said...

i am used to them being healthy i know they are not.

Justin Choo said...

Hi Nicola,

Welcome to this blog.

Usually I answer Buddhist questions on another site. You can click on the link at the right margin of this blog.

Be that as it may, since you are asking here, I shall try my best to give my comments here.

It is easy to be an arm chair "counsellor". In reality it is not that easy to resolve problems like yours. Maybe the first step you need to realize is that it is inevitable to feel stressed out in situation like this. Once you accept this mindset, half the problem is solved. Then you get on with your life and try your best to cope with the situation. Sometimes over a period of time, you may be able to adjust and accept the reality of life. What you're experiencing is universal. It happens everywhere. The question is when will be our turn.

This much I can say. There are many considerations that one has to take into account. Each case is different given the open-ended parameters of one's life.

If you need more communication, please ask me at the other site which I referred above.

Take care.

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