Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.  

The Buddha (I think)


We suffer when we cling to or resist experience. Basically, when we want life to be different. 


The antidote to suffering according to the Buddhist teachings is the realization that there’s nothing solid to hang on to. It sounds a bit self-defeating, though, doesn’t it? I mean, how depressing. There’s nothing to hang on to. Nothing solid. 

The teachings even go so far as to say there’s nothing real, at least not in the sense that it permanently exists in and of itself and isn’t subject to change. 

Furthermore, everything that comes into existence does so only under the right circumstances and conditions. Yet, even as it comes into existence, it’s always changing, transforming into something else, until eventually, it disappears entirely. 

This might make us feel depressed, but is this really a cause for depression? Or, does it perhaps mean we can ease up a bit, relax? It’s kind of like what we say in Maine. If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.

If you don’t like how your life is going right now, give it a little time. It might get better. Or it could get worse. Nonetheless, there it is. It is what it is. 

Somehow, when we can learn to accept this, expect it even, things get easier. 

Our tendency, though, is to grasp at life and hold on tight, right? Can we even learn to allow what’s happening in the moment to simply be? 

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek solutions to life’s problems. We just do the seeking with less clinging, less demand. Maybe even less urgency. As a result, there is more space for natural wisdom to arise. This leads to greater insight. Solutions arise spontaneously. We see our way through to the next great something. 

That’s why realizing there’s nothing solid to hold on to is the antidote to suffering. Yet, even this is not something to cling to. We don’t make the insubstantiality of life a big deal. We simply allow it to be as it is. Like everything else, it can be no other way. 

Therefore, there’s no need to struggle or cling. Just remember, nothing is quite as it seems. Nothing will ever be quite like this again. 

That’s why the little things are so important. Paying attention to the details is one of the most liberating things we can do. Be here now isn’t just a quaint idea. It’s the key to living, the key to life. Therefore, relax. If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.

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