Happiness is a base line that we all would like to have as a constant in our lives. Yet it can be here one minute and gone the next.  Why is that so?

Change is inevitable in all aspects of life, seasons come and go, life is constantly moving. Identification and attachment to all that exists can be a major source of suffering.

How do we overcome  suffering?

Is it normal to suffer?

What does not change?

These are “thinking” questions, so test the ole grey matter this Friday morning and see what you can share…..look forward to hearing from you…

Andy

17 Comments

  1. Ben O on March 12, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Most things change and evolve and suffering or trial is an integral part of life.

    I am reminded on a couple of quotes (some of which I will badly paraphrase and may not bhe able to attribute)

    “Life is like a lemon tree, why are we surprised when it brings forth both sweet and bitter fruit” Marcus Aurelius

    – The iron loves the furnace and the forge (?)
    – All that you wish to create you will have to carve from chaos (?)

  2. Rach on March 12, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Following Ben`s lead, `when life gives you lemons, make lemonade`. You have no control over the situation you are in but you can control your response to it. I am not sure if it is normal to suffer but i think we all suffer because we want things to be a certain way and when that doesn`t occur we suffer. We want people to behave a certain way or a situation not to `happen` to us. I believe the trick is to accept what you can`t change and let it go. When i was a kid i was the same person i am now. I have been here all the time. Its just my attitude and opinions which grew and gained momentum. I am the one who has always been here, since the beginning. Aware in the quiet times of the drama around me but not deep within. A deep knowing that none of it matters and i will be ok no matter what. Many times i forget and think my opinon is the one who is here, I realise this now as the unease i feel in these moments reawakens me, now as i become more aware, once again i find myself wherever i go and it is joy and bliss and vast relief. Happiness was there all along, i forgot and still do forget, it is inside me and always will be.

  3. Leigh on March 12, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Suffering is an inevitable and unavoidable part of being alive – more so for some than others and often due to circumstances beyond the individual’s control. Rather than “overcoming” suffering, sometimes the only course of action available is simply to cope and endure, knowing that eventually the situation will change. What doesn’t change is that we can influence how we think and how we act, no matter the situation or state of mind we are in.

  4. andy on March 12, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Great posts and comment, great contributions and thoughts.

    But what does not change?

    Is suffering really a by-product of life? Or is suffering a by-product of being attached to life; no attachment, no suffering or rather caring and loving are apparent but there is more self love in letting go. People suffer for years because of the inner resistance to constant change and the inner resistance to give up on what the ego wants instead of embracing the need and truth of each situation.

    Andy

  5. Andrew Blanch on March 12, 2010 at 2:41 am

    “The great way is not difficult for those with no expectations” SENGSTAN, THIRD ZEN PATRIARCH

    • andy on March 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm

      Great repy Andrew. It really makes the point in such simplicity.

      Thanks for the contribution.

      Andy

  6. andrew m on March 12, 2010 at 4:01 am

    It all comes down to the present moment. thats the only constant in life. attatch and it’s gone.It’s so hard not to attatch, but when we let go ,there’s that elusive present moment.

    • andy on March 12, 2010 at 6:49 pm

      Thanks for the post Andrew. As Tolle says “what is our relationship with the present moment?” When one asks that question it can spring board you into awareness of self.

      Andy

  7. Liz on March 12, 2010 at 5:31 am

    What does not change?
    Your very existence,your presence while you are here on this earth. Everything else though is subject to change.
    Life is not a constant it changes every day. We cannot determine what tomorrow brings all we can do is live in this world and enjoy every moment that we are blessed to be given.

    • andy on March 12, 2010 at 6:53 pm

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for the great post. I know that you have a pure and simple approach to living in the moment which is magic. You are a leader and role model and set the pace for us all. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to write for us.

      Andy

  8. Deb Cooksey on March 12, 2010 at 7:31 am

    I am not 100% certain, but it seems to me is that suffering is some times part of a difficult change….at least that has been my experience. I know also that what I went through in my 20’s was absolutely neccessary for me to be the person I am now and that if I now look back, it is hard to imagine why it was so difficult…

  9. andy on March 12, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Deb, That is so well put. Suffering is part of change, the more difficult and set in our ways the more we suffer.

    Thanks for taking the time.

    Andy

  10. Kai on March 24, 2010 at 8:59 am

    The past does not change…

    The future however, is whatever we make of it.

  11. Peter B on March 31, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    What does not change???

    Without change, nothing would exist and continue to exist.
    Therefore “the only thing constant is CHANGE in itself”.

    Peter B

  12. selma on May 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    How can you know what happiness is if you never felt sadness at all.
    How can you know soft if you have never felt hard.
    How can you know spring if you never felt winter…
    You can cry from being happy just as you can cry being sad…

  13. selma on May 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    The question is; are we unhappy because of our environment, or are we unhappy because of some inability to deal with our environment. For most of us it’s both.

    Happiness can be achieved in a number of ways; take a pill (easiest), change your circumstances (slightly harder and doesn’t guarantee results), change your way thinking (very hard).
    When we chose to change our way of thinking we take a courageous step and this in itself should make us feel a bit better, but at the same time we become vonurable because we step outside our comfort zone.

    As the old saying goes “ignorance is bliss”. I chose ignorance for a long time but it only lead to situations which I didn’t think matched my potential. Partying and drinking DOES actually get boring after some time. I think that most people chose ignorance on some level until something bad happens in their life and they are forced to deal with things and empathise.

    It’s so much easier to label people, put them in categorical boxes or just be of the opinion “the world is just the way it is, I didn’t make it that way, I’m not responsible so why should I empathise”. It really is emotionally draining to empathise.

    I think ultimately we are all responsible for the way the world is. The plastic bottles from India are washed off on “plastic beach” in Hawaii, what you say to someone may linger in their heads thought the entire day, the guy driving the Lamborghini knows in the back of his head that there are children starving somewhere but he’s not responsible so why should he care. Funny thing money is, whoever invented it, it connects us all, but so does the air we breathe – however there is no shortage of air as of yet. Does this money connection through some vortex of circumstance mean that this guy IS responsible for suffering of children? Probably. I’m not against Lamborghinis at all but give some decent proportion of your money away… for clear consciousness sake if anything.

    The one thing that makes me really happy is thinking that whatever this is we call life could be over any second and that I tried my best to make sense of it. And that I might have given some of that sense away to someone else.

    Now go back and punch each other stupid. I hope to join you soon unless Andy expels me for writing too much… sorry Andy.

  14. Gretchen on November 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    “Change is inevitable in all aspects of life, seasons come and go, life is constantly moving.” Yes! This is one of the first principles of Buddhism. This is exactly what the chant “anicha” means.

    Following from this, “identification and attachment to all that exists can be a major source of suffering.” The reason for the suffering is the nature of the ego, which desires stasis. The ego constructs an ideal and often unrealistic image of itself and clings to that image. Often this blinds us to the reality of our present situation, which is always changing.

    Ego is a trap. Whenever we fail to live up to the image that the ego clings to, feelings of negativity arise. For example, if I get carried away with some egotistical fantasy that I can beat an opponent simply because “I’m awesome” and as a result I become lazy then I get hit – and I deserve it! If I persist with the fantasy then I will suffer because I have failed to live up to the unrealistic ideal. I might feel angry, resentful etc. A much better option is to accept another Buddhist teaching, “there is no I, me, my”. In other words, “anicha” applies to me too. Better to put my ego on the shelf, observe the new situation and respond in a detached way. This is why I love the saying “ous”. Of course, if I manage to land a punch or a kick this way, I shouldn’t become too attached to that situation, either. Anicha!

    May all being be happy.

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