Hello my fellow human Beings:
Suffering or happiness?
Anger or peace?
Fear or love?
We have these choices to make in each moment of our lives. Both options may exist, like two sides of a piece of paper, but we have the choice as to which side to focus on or which channel to choose.
Suffering and happiness exist in the world and in our lives. It is up to us to decide whether we want to wallow in clouds of suffering or seek out the rays of happiness in each moment of our lives.
Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hahn stated in a dharma talk:
“The kingdom of heaven is not a place without suffering, but a place where people know how to use suffering to generate happiness. For without suffering, how would people know how to generate compassion and understanding?”
Suffering is not an evil to be avoided at all cost; rather it is an aid we can use, with awareness and understanding, to help us grow in compassion, kindness, connection and love.
In an article entitled “Suffering Is Not Enough”, Thich Nhat Hahn writes:
“Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time. …
A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn sorrow on, we are sorrow. If we turn a smile on, we really are the smile. We cannot let just one channel dominate us. We have the seed of everything in us, and we have to seize the situation in our hand, to recover our own sovereignty.
When we sit down peacefully, breathing and smiling, with awareness, we are our true selves, we have sovereignty over ourselves.”
So this week, as you are faced with many different life situations, remember that you have the power to choose the channel to focus on. Will you choose the noisy, berating channel to dwell on and assail your senses? Or will you instead find the courage, amidst the media hoopla and false stories, to change the channel to one that sees the beauty within yourself and in others?
I encourage you to find time to be still, to meditate, and to connect to your True Self and to see the happiness beyond the suffering, the peace beyond the anger, and the love beyond the fear; so that each day you may live fully and abundantly.
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