Sri Bhagavan on all suffering is a story
Sri Bhagavan on how to experience pain
Q: What is the best course to follow when one encounters suffering.
Bhagavan, please also give us more clarity on what is running away from suffering.
Sri Bhagavan: Well! There is no need to give clarity on running away from suffering, because you are doing it all the time. Whenever you say I am suffering, it means you are running away from suffering. Because if you could turn around and confront the suffering, soak in it, embrace it, fall in love with it, be with it, accept it, do all these things. Then, see for yourself what happens!
Q: Bhagavan, how exactly do we experience suffering?
Sri Bhagavan: When we use the word suffering what we mean is you are running away from suffering. That is what you call suffering and you are not aware of it. Supposing somebody is dead in your house, your near or dear one, you don't want to face that fact, you keep running away from it. That is what is you call suffering. Not the actual thing which happened. On the other hand if you were to turn around and embrace the event which happened, initially it is tremendously painful, you could even develop tremendous chest pain. Some times the body itself could become very violent and go into convulsions as you embrace that suffering, without internally moving away from it, that is, not trying to understand it, not trying to explain it away but to jump into it. This we call jumping into the tigers mouth. At the moment you are hanging on to the ceiling and the tiger is growling and you are afraid that you might fall anytime into the tiger's mouth and that is what you call suffering. What we are telling is please jump down from the ceiling straight into the tigers mouth and be eaten. Strangely if you are eaten, you are gone, who is there to suffer? So, that is why we say, you don't have to understand suffering. You do not have to bring in psychology and philosophy, they would never ever help you. They would only help you escape. Because again the tiger is going to pounce on you some day. The best thing is to embrace it and the strangest part is you will find sooner or later you will develop this art and every time suffering comes, you would embrace it and it becomes joy. One who has completely mastered the art of converting suffering into joy is almost enlightened. Not enlightened but almost enlightened!
Q: Most people think that the pursuit of truth or enlightenment is a luxury for the contented or an escape from suffering from their lives. Could you please explain to us the need for enlightenment?
"Unless you are enlightened and your heart is flowered, you are not living. Only a person who is established in oneness and whose heart is flowered in love is truly living, otherwise you are living the life of the mind, which is nothing but craving and fear. The greatest tragedy of the human existence is that you are not even conscious of your present condition, you could be the president of the most powerful country or the richest man on the planet, you would still be suffering because so long as you are living the life of the mind, your so-called happiness is merely pleasure which will soon turn into fear and pain. I am not criticizing you, I am merely awakening you to joy and love, which are possible when the heart has flowered. You could be poorest man and nobody in this vast world but with love in your heart, you are in heaven, an unenlightened being though he has spiritual, economic or political power would still be in hell."
(notes from a Oneness University lecture)
1. When you start to feel the negative emotion notice where in your body you feel the physical discomfort . normally in the chest or stomach.
2. Focus your full attention on that area of your body.
3. Your mind will try to take your focus off of experiencing the pain, by all of the things I listed above and more. Here is the good news You cant stop the mind from doing that, so dont waste energy trying. Just let it be!
4. What you can do is be aware that the mind is trying to help you escape from the feeling. Becoming aware of what is really going on will stop the mind in its tracks. So instead of going into drama or blame or self-pity you simply say internally, my mind is trying to escape. This in effect is like putting up a roadblock. Once you have this awareness you will want to bring your full focus back to the physical sensation in the body.
5. This is a process that you might have to repeat over and over until all escape routes the mind can take are blocked off by your awareness. You might have to say, my mind is escaping every 5 seconds if thats what it takes. Any distraction either internally or externally the mind will grab on to and try to run away with your attention. Blame is the easiest distraction. Its his fault or her fault or the companies fault or the Governments fault . Be keenly aware that this is a distraction and will keep you in suffering.
6. You will eventually get to a point in which you feel the physical discomfort in the body, but there is no mind activity or very little. At this point simply focus all of your attention on and fully experiencing the sensation. At this point you could simply ask whoever or whatever you consider the Higher Power to be for you whether its God, Light, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, The Universe, Your Higher Self, Void, Nothingness, Higher Intelligence etc .to help you release this emotional charge from your body.
7. Then just relax and fully experience the physical sensations that occur.
8. You might experience a range of things at this point and they are all perfect for you. You may experience a deep peace, laughter, joyful tears, if the emotions are really deep and painful, your body may shake and jolt around. This is just the charge being physically released and it is a huge blessing to have this happen. Depending on the severity of the emotion you could experience intense physical pain during this process as well. If you simply face it and experience it in this moment it will save countless days, weeks and months in the future of continued suffering.