Words of Wisdom by Swami Satchidananda
- How to Understand Suffering
"If we understand suffering, then it's no longer
suffering. To give an example, a mother who gives
birth to a child faces a lot of suffering, is it
not so? But behind that suffering the mother knows
that she's going to have a lovely baby, so she
faces it; in fact, she wants and accepts it. Once
you accept it, it's no longer suffering. Then there's
joy behind it. In the same way, if pain is understood
properly in our lives, we'll never be frightened of
it. On the other hand, we might even welcome the pain.
`Oh pain, come on. Help me to get rid of all the dross.
Refine me.' A refined person is one who allowed his or
her dross to go away through suffering.
"God bless you. Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi."
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- Watch your mind. Watch your breath. Become an observer, which is the key to Jnana Yoga. Don’t worry about particular techniques. Just sit back and observe the breath, mind, and thoughts. Just see what’s happening within you. Become a witness, which is a wonderful form of meditation. Be still and watch what is happening in your mind and in your body. Maybe you have been repeating a mantra or focusing on one object for a time. You may then relax and sit calmly and watch the mind; observe the peaceful vibrations that come. Listen to the silence completely. Observe your own brain. See how peaceful you are. The mind seems to be totally at rest. You might think the mind is almost asleep, yet you are still conscious of the whole thing. The body is resting. The breath has very much slowed. The mind is almost sleeping but you are aware of everything.
Ask yourself, “Who is aware of them? What is this awareness? Who knows all these things? That is You, the Knower. You are totally different from your body, from your mind. You are the witness—what you call the Self, the pure Self—the witness of the body and mind. If you could maintain this witnessing constantly, still knowing you are the witness all the time, you would reach Self-awareness or
Self-realization. Keep up this awareness, even in your day-to-day activities. When you are eating, when you are walking, and especially when you are distressed, you can still witness. You will constantly enjoy supreme peace. Through this practice you become the master of your own body and mind. You’ll walk through life like an undisturbed sage.