The topic of human suffering has always fascinated me. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I realized that we spend so much of our life’s energy on futile attempts to avoid suffering. We use drugs and alcohol, denial, dishonesty, and dissociation. Sometimes it seems like we spend our entire lives trying to avoid suffering and increase pleasure. What I have come to realize, through different spiritual texts, spiritual practice, and simply my own experience, is that suffering is an inevitable part of human existence. This we cannot change. No amount of running or hiding, and certainly no substance can change that fact. What we can change, through meditation, is our relationship to that suffering. Maybe the fact that painful events exist in life is not by itself a cause for true suffering. It is our constant aversive relationship to that pain that creates true suffering.
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