Suffering in Everyday Life
On Tuesday, we will have a discussion on suffering and see how we can apply Buddhist teachings regarding suffering to our everyday lives. When the Buddha was asked what he taught, He replied, “Suffering and the end of suffering.” We will examine how look at our own suffering and what we might do to decrease it. And remember, suffering can be very small, like wanting more chocolate after eating the last piece, to very large like losing someone you love or part of yourself. We do not have to talk about our personal experiences, but my goal is to help people bring this practice into daily life and I believe we all have wisdom to share. So it might be nice if there is some suffering you experience that you might be willing to share with the group. Otherwise, our discussions can become very intellectual and can be a help to no one. Openness creates empathy, intimacy, and group cohesion. Some questions we might consider (though I hope you bring some of your own or use the discussion capability on this Meetup’s front page):
1. Is there a particular form or pattern to the suffering you experience (i.e., some people suffer if they judge themselves as less than perfect)? Are there any people around whom you suffer? Can you see the cause of suffering in this situation?
2. We all have a few core issues such as not being seen, feeling “less than,” abandonment, etc. Do you know what your core issues are (not why they occurred but what they are)? If so, how to they affect your suffering?
3. What ways have you found to alleviate your suffering? Which are healthy and which are unhealthy?
4. How does the Buddha teach us regarding the causes of suffering? The end of suffering? How can you use these Buddhist principles to reduce the suffering in your life?
I would like to make sure we keep our discussion focused on “real life” so that we leave with tools to deal with the suffering in our lives.