Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How Do You Suffer?

That's the next question in my Committed Practice Group homework.

I'm tempted to very flippantly say: "I'm suffering answering this question", but I'll bite. I suffer by living almost completely in my head, worrying and obsessing, succumbing to anxiety, clinging. I suffer by forgetting and I suffer by remembering. I suffer when I hurt myself, and I suffer when I try to heal the wounds.

Does this mean life is suffering?

In a way, yes. As I was saying yesterday, the two are inextricable. (Which means I guess I do realize it!) But is suffering inevitable? Probably to some degree, but not necessarily to the degree that I or so many others experience it.

To me action is the anti-suffering. My mother once told me that action is the antidote to anxiety (how's that for alliteration?) and in my experience that's totally true. When I'm in motion, moving forward, working to make my life better, I'm too busy to suffer.

But is that what I'm looking for? Does that mean I suffer in stillness?

Not necessarily. Take right now, as I'm sitting in my living room, one dog beside me and the other close by, listening to Gen X Radio St. Louis (give it a try) and waiting for Adam to come home and contemplating, just contemplating stillness and suffering, and how lucky I am to have the time and leisure to do all this.

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