Beginning to Understand Suffering

As you may have gathered from some of my previous posts, I’ve been doing some reading about Buddhism. I’ve studied Buddhism in the past, in a limited way through a university course of Japanese religions and also as part of a meditation class I took for about a year before I became pregnant with the little man. I found it very interesting, but I could never really get my head around the idea of suffering.

You see, the first Nobel Truth of Buddhism is “Life is Suffering”. I just couldn’t buy into that, since I found my life to be happy and relatively free of suffering on the whole. But, recently I came across a few different explanations of this “suffering”. The one that hit home is that suffering was the feeling of trying to hold on to things as they are, of denying the impermanence of the world, or the desire to stop change. And, as if I really needed the lesson taught to me, this past week has shown me very clearly what this type of suffering is like. There are small things and big things happening right now, changes that I wish wouldn’t come: the little man’s allergy being confirmed, a neighbour’s sister being given at most months to live after fighting her cancer for so long, a favourite local store closing. While they are obviously not all of the same level, they do all bring change, and with that change comes my desire to keep things as they were before.

I think I can understand now how life is suffering, to a certain degree. It is a suffering we bring upon ourselves by trying to hold on to something that is no longer there. Reaching and making changes os good, but trying to hold on only brings sorrow.


1 Comment

One Response

  1. Genevieve says:

    I’ve always had leanings towards Buddhism myself too, take care, hugs