Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

February 09, 2020

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

Greetings from India dear friend.

Week three and the one thing that is becoming clear here is the separation between pain and suffering. It’s easy to see them as two completely separate experiences even though we attach them more often than not.

An experience may create pain but it’s the ramifications we add that creates the suffering.

This work of realigning the spine has definitely brought some pain and discomfort in the process, but it was expected so it is what it is, nothing more. And the pain is shifting, so the impermanence of a particular ache will clearly change.

Well, this was very clear to me during the leisure weekend when there was only rest and no clinic for two days. By Wednesday I had no energy for the exercise class that is a big part of the work, and the discomfort of aches and pains in my body collided with the 'what-ifs'. What if all this work doesn’t pay off for me? What if I do more damage instead of correction? The 'what-if' list could go on forever if I didn’t know the cleverness of the mind in the area of self sabotage.

By this time the added suffering clouded my objective and perspective. Pain and discomfort couldn’t be seen clearly anymore as separate. This too was all very fascinating to watch unfold.

I was reminded of the work of Byron Katie to question what you believe. Four simple questions: Is it true? Can you be absolutely sure it’s true? How do you react when you believe it? Who would you be without that thought?

We create so much unnecessary suffering in this world of being human. This added suffering I put myself through was in no way unique. An ounce of fear can make even medicine toxic.

I am grateful for the teachers that gave me a thirst to seek wisdom and a practice of inquiry. I’m grateful to be present with what is, whatever it is, to know there is so much more than I can imagine, to remember to laugh with myself and above all to trust and surrender to the mystery and the power of Grace in life that has never let me down.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Wishing you lightness of heart in all you do.

Love, a smile and a bow to you from Mother India


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