On Suffering and Pain

Once a woman came to Gautama Buddha and told him that she had just lost her husband and that she needed help from him to get rid of the pain she felt within her. Buddha said to her: “First bring me some sesame from a home in which there is at least one person not experiencing any pain”.

So began the woman’s search. She went from home to home asking, finding out. Every person that the woman met had pain. This made her realise that she is not alone in pain. She came weeks later and said to the Buddha without any surprise that the expedition was unfruitful. She couldn’t find a single person that was free from pain.

“And so I cannot remove your pain. There is a way out of suffering however, and that is a choice.”

So the real question is why do I suffer? And without giving a ready-made answer from the recesses of my memory, if I just stay quietly with myself, what happens?