Why do we suffer?

Words often hide within themselves a secret. When we look for these secrets, the words begin to speak to us at a deeper level of understanding. The word to suffer means to bear or to hold – from below. Suffering is making a burden out of something. Suffering is wishing a fact to be different instead of paying attention to “what is”.  Suffering is to resist, to hold one’s breath, to harden, to be fearful and to worry, but the moment you pay attention, suffering stops and the energies begin to flow.

Most people are very attached to their suffering. We are not taking away one’s right to suffer in discussing the nature of suffering.

One of the primary reasons we suffer is because we forget that at the root of all suffering is the choice to put an end to it. But it is not so simple, is it? In order to really be aware of this choice we need to first discover the difference between pain and suffering. Pain is for every sentient being, but suffering is a choice. Not suffering is not the denial of pain, but it is simply denial of suffering and of creating more suffering to others. It is the understanding that “I have a choice. I am free to breathe. Now, what am I going to do about it? Will I continue to hold on to “my” suffering?” 

Guruji Iyengar said “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”

For creating a sense of consensus in our discussion, we are talking about psychological suffering that is caused through pains (at whatever level of being the pain might be, be it physical pain, mental pain or psychological pain).

Suffering begins when there is a feeling of disconnection and a fragmentation. A void is felt. For some reason, this feeling makes us very uneasy, and instead of looking at it, we look away or distract ourselves. The link between the Human and the Being is lost. We forget hence that we are Human-Beings. We have the human side, but we also have the Being in us, the consciousness. This void, it needs attention. It needs us to look at it as it is, without wanting to change it. This attention is love. We are not talking about personal love or the love of a personality. All that is different from this. The love that is found in attending to something without wanting to change it, is of a very different quality. In such an attention, there is transformation of that which is watching and that which is being watched. So can we look more carefully?

When we understand that at the heart of all pain is a teaching, it obliges us to pay attention to what is happening. The subtle always alters the gross. This is the way of Nature. So can we pay attention to the subtle? Can we dig a bit deeper? Can we hold the question a bit longer, without seeking a conclusion, an answer, because that inevitably tramples the question? Can we breathe a bit slower? Think a bit slower? Can we become free from wanting to find a solution to the human problem? Can we observe without the frontal brain becoming hard and over analyzing? If we can, then the pain becomes the teacher and not a cause for suffering. The birth of attention and the knowledge of the subtle, is the death of suffering. They cannot co-exist.

So why do you suffer? Have you ever asked yourself this question? Ask it now.