Who is suffering?
Some people do not understand when I say “You can be in pain but there is no need to suffer.” Let me explain this so you will understand. Our thoughts have power over our feelings. If we can control our thoughts we have control of much of what is happening in our life. Our thoughts influence our actions. If we dwell on unsavory thoughts those thoughts lead to destructive actions.
It is said that after practicing doing something for twenty days it becomes a habit. If we constantly have negative thoughts, it becomes a bad habit that leads us to bad actions. We must become aware that as we think so will we act. To be mindful of our thoughts we can correct those negative thoughts and turn our life around for the better. If we let our mind run wild, filling our head with all kinds of wild thoughts, from outside distractions and past experiences, we have lost control of our thoughts.
A chain reaction then takes place. Our random thoughts lead to random actions and we have lost control of our life. It all comes down to awareness of our thoughts and mind control. How can we control those thoughts that constantly fill our mind? Like static on the radio interfering with the enjoyment of our program. This is what is called the monkey mind. Irresponsible, active, mischievous thoughts like monkeys swinging around in the jungle of branches in our brain.
Metaphorically speaking, take control of the jungle full of wild creatures. Calm those animal-like thoughts in the jungle of your mind. This is done by becoming aware of our thoughts and practicing mind control. I find the best way to do this, is by regularly practicing breathing meditation till it becomes a habit. When meditation becomes a habit it can be called upon any time you are under stress or pressure. You will be mindful and the calming technique of a few deep breaths, to stabilize you, will be all that is needed.
When you first begin trying to concentrate on your breath in meditation, you will be distracted by invasive thoughts. This is the first step in your awareness of how distracting your thoughts can be. Do not let this put you off, just focus your attention back to your breath. You may use any of a number of methods. You could count each inhalation and out breath as one breath and count to six and then start over from one again. Another method is to follow the breath, as you think in with good out with stress. There are many variations on breathing meditation, find one that suits you and practice it.
To know and not to do is still not to know. All the knowledge is useless without putting it into practice. Practicing meditation you become aware of the constant monkey mind chatter. With practice you learn not to allow them to play in the jungle of your mind. You become mindful and aware. You can then take control of your life. By practicing you learn to focus on what is important to you. You calm down, your concentration improves and your whole outlook is better. Be mindful and aware; come back to focusing on your life giving calming breath.
To understand the full meaning of my words “You can be in pain but there is no need to suffer.” You need awareness of your thoughts and have mind control over them. You must not dwell on pain by complaining about your pain and misfortune. When you do this you are reinforcing the negative and the pain, this is suffering.
Get your thoughts back on track. Think of the doughnut not the hole. Think companionably of others less fortunate than you. Instead of suffering do something constructive as a diversion. Concentrate on taking those essential life giving calming deep breaths. Realize in time all things are subject to change. Both the pleasant and the unpleasant will inevitably pass. No one can escape this universal truth; we are all subject to pain. Some suffer and complain others bare the pain and get on with the only life they are blessed with.
A shaman said to me “Think less and do more.” We are all in pain if we think about it. Do not suffer do something constructive.