Suffering as an invitation of inner peace

From BOMA Mental Health Summit

Taking a few moments, to exhale and release from the body.

Enhailing deepling through the nose, exhale and releasing through the mouth; dropping the weight of the body.

Open your eyes.

Take a moment to acknowledge any shift in your mind, body.

Suffering, what is it and how can we acknowledge our suffering, without avoiding it, gently enable it to transform our state.

And perhaps access some peace, and increase some capacity for mental clarity and even moments of happiness, compassion or joy.


From a Buddhist point of view, fundamentally 1. misunderstanding of what reality is. By not truly enquiring, not in accordance of what reality is; 2. compulsion to pleasure and happiness, and constantly away or disengage we think make us suffer, e.g. a pendulum swinging what is happens or what is suffer and so rarely do we get to arrive to equanimity, being almost content. In other words in the hamster well, a shallow way of living, as oppose to the moment of satisfaction when we can have relief from this dissatisfaction.

Suffering therefore is the feeling of perpetual pain. There may be suffering of medical pain, death and change because the nature of things are in flex. The subtle dissatisfaction of suffering is something we can change.

How can we transform suffering into peace.

It starts with acknowledgement. As we are pain avoiders, it is an uncomfortable process. For example, eating lots of sugar, cooking or baking.

Are we genuinely taking pleasure and is it giving us something value. If we were to indulge e.g. smoking, drinking – would too much of that satisfy the craving?

We rarely stop to look at what is wrong.

How are we feeling inside? It takes courage.

Look into your own suffering. Take a step back, with a sense of objectivity. Look at yourself.

Disengage from any activity. What is causing you pain and suffering.

The emphathy that we give to ourselves is very healing.

When we are kids perhaps we may not have had very empathetic parents so giving it to ourselves is a very powerful way to heal.

And to gradually dismantle this suffering.

Let this answer arise.

Deep seated anxiety? Fear of the future?

Mental addiction of self?


Deep sense of grief?

Reality of the world?

The suffering of friends and family…….

What is the cause of this suffering……

Try not to force it, try to let it arise.

Refrain from judging it…..try to have a neutral way to relate to it, once you have done that.

In Buddhism they say suffering is that which is hard to look at.

It is like looking at the gate of transformation, by being able to relate, the pain of it subsides.

It may feel integrated. One can go further…how is this manifesting physically?

Anger? Rage? Social economic structure?

Whatever it is, how is it manifesting? Where is it represented?

How is it represented? Tightness in the jaw, turmoil in the chest, headache? Unrest in the abdomen, tension in the hips?

Begin by asking how does this suffering impact my behavior?

3 factors: Mind, Body and Action in Buddhism, how does this suffering impact on emotions?

How is it impacting on behavior?

Is this what you want?

Do you want these actions?

Do these results yield the results you want?

e.g. does drinking, eating give you the results you want or does it add to harming yourself?

Are your actions congruent to the results that you want?

By being aware of your bodily habits and then engaging and then stop.

Stopping yourself from empowering that habit.

It may require a lot of resilience, challenging triggers, and may result in initial failure…

What do you want to cultivate?

If avoidance of suffering does not result in happiness, what does?

It may require practices.

How about meditation?

Meditation as a systematic way of understanding how the mind causes suffering, and to then disable suffering….

Try tuning inwards….

Practices that strengthen your attention…

Focusing on the breathe…..

You may notice the habits of the mind, states of clarity, states of peace….

shifting of state,

then transformation.

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By Helen Tung
#COVID-19 #Antibiotics #Stayathome #Keep safe #WHO #Mental #Resilience

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