Reducing suffering

Amrita: Many people, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/Buddha_sukhothaistylb.jpgparticularly people who have been active in causes of one sort or another, are concerned that if they awaken they will lose their drive to reduce suffering in the world. They are afraid of losing who they know themselves to be. One needn’t worry about this, or even have concern. There may be a period of readjustment where certain activities are reduced or cease altogether; that’s a needed time of reorientation. The very cells of the body are undergoing a powerful transformation.

I have done a power of good, and that has been a way for me to tolerate myself. And, I am not, at the moment. I have given up on the CAB, and spend my time in my flat. I thought, I do nothing- but I still give regularly to a particular charity, and I attend the Quaker meeting.

“‎Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” – John Stuart Mill. God has no hands but ours, but there are seven billion of us, and enough other people are doing good at the moment. It is not all up to me.

I am struck how little I know myself. I phoned a company, and failed to get through their security check. When I phoned again, I started by explaining that sometimes my voice seemed male over the phone, and was amazed how distressed I became. I had repeated phone calls for James Sims, whom I have not heard of. I said it was a wrong number, and eventually with my male voice pretended to be James Sims, demanding to know who was calling. My anger amazed me.

So what seems ridiculous and weak and worthless in me is a different perspective. I can just about believe that I am healing, even growing, though it feels like a retreat.

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A blogging friend asked “What is the good life?” of her many regular commenters, and I went off on one. Quietly, you know, I am alone, my mouth purses and angry words gush through my head. NOT MINE! is the first thought. My temptation is to define the Good Life in terms of what I want and do not have.

The thought came,

I want to be cherished.

Oh! The wedding-vows word! I am cherishing myself, as best I know how, now.

The good life is in a good community, where each person is nurtured, and their talents developed and used for the good of all. Now, you know! You read it here first!

2 thoughts on “Reducing suffering

  1. Oh, I’ve been there too!

    To reduce suffering, it helps to see the pain, but not complain about it. Just observe. Masters feel pain, but they do not suffer, because they do not let it define them, or taint the happiness that they feel within. Happiness is not what we will feel when we finally get what we want, but what we feel in being here now, which then produces the results we desire.

    All thoughts taken from “Communion with God” the fourth in the series of books by Neale Donald Walsh, the “Conversations with God” series. Try them. They may be small, but they are powerful.

    XXXX 🙂

    Like

    • Some days after writing that, X happens and I find myself completely miserable. And that misery is proof of my uselessness, of unchanging dreadful weaknesses in me and desires that will never be assuaged. I must not be miserable because it is weak, and it stops me functioning, and-

      My reaction to the unhappiness is the problem. It feeds itself with its fear of itself until it becomes overwhelming.

      Or. X happens, and of course it makes me unhappy. And the unhappiness is a normal and reasonable human response, which will pass and is bearable.

      What is the situation? Almost unchanged. It is OK. I am OK.

      Like

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