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The Real Cause of Suffering

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Early Morning Meditation Talk given in the Sacred Samadhi Hall of Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh The Real Cause of
    Message 1 of 6 , May 29, 2003
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      Early Morning Meditation Talk given in the Sacred Samadhi Hall of
      Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh

      The Real Cause of Suffering

      By
      Sri Swami Atmaswarupananda

      As human beings, we all want to be happy. And one of the ways to be
      happy is to feel that everything is okay. The world is okay, and I am
      okay. But the trouble is, the world doesn't seem to be okay, nor do we
      seem to be okay. Therefore, in order to be happy, most people live in
      some form of state of denial or escape.

      This was not the teaching of the Eastern sages, at least on this
      level. They declared that this life is fundamentally suffering, and,
      therefore, if you want to be happy, you have to find another solution.
      Sometimes that solution was to get to heaven or to have a better birth.

      But that's in the future. We want to deal with our situation right
      now. And if we do, we have to try to understand one fundamental fact.
      Suffering could be said to have two aspects—one that we can't do much
      about, and one that we can do something about. For example, if we have
      chest pains, those pains are suffering. But the real suffering is not
      the pain; the real suffering is worrying that we are having a heart
      attack. In other words, suffering is caused by our interpretation of
      our situation.

      The same applies to almost everything around us. Suffering is caused
      by birth, death, sickness, old age and pain according to the
      philosophers, but the real suffering is caused by our attitude. If we
      see birth, death, sickness, old age and pain as natural phenomena,
      there is a minimum of suffering. If we have a different attitude, it
      can cause great suffering.

      Fundamentally if we look at our inner self, we will discover that it
      is what we think about ourselves that determines how much suffering
      we're undergoing. That frequently causes a state of anxiety; perhaps
      anger is always there, perhaps jealousy, perhaps greed, perhaps
      sadness. Something is there that is our real suffering and determines
      how we meet life. It is not the outer things that are the cause of our
      suffering, but how we react to them. What is left over when there is
      no outer stimulus is what is important.

      The key to solving the problem is to recognise that these inner
      negative states, which seem to be at the core of our being, really are
      not at the core. There is something within us that is more
      fundamental, that is aware of all these states. It has the ability,
      not necessarily to get rid of these states, but to objectify them
      rather than identify with them.

      Normally we do this by offering everything to God, by surrendering, by
      repeating God's name or through introspection. The objective is to not
      tackle these things directly, but rather to identify with that which
      is aware of them. This is the purpose of all our spiritual practices.
      And the more we go to this deeper depth of ourselves, the less power
      these negative states will have over us.

      So, we can say that life is fundamentally suffering, but at a deeper
      level it is all divine. And the scriptures tell us that not only is
      Divinity beyond all suffering, but that That is what we are. So our
      solution is not so much at the physical and mental level as it is at
      the level of our identity: Believe the scriptures and the gurus when
      they tell us that we are That. Recognise that we are the witness of
      all these states, and allow the healing to take place.
    • Jeff Belyea
      ... Thanks, Bob - This is a beautiful discourse. When we attune to this divine level of our identity, we not only can sit back and enjoy the movie of our lives
      Message 2 of 6 , May 30, 2003
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        --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety <
        no_reply@y...> wrote:
        >
        > So, we can say that life is fundamentally suffering, but at a deeper
        > level it is all divine. And the scriptures tell us that not only is
        > Divinity beyond all suffering, but that That is what we are. So our
        > solution is not so much at the physical and mental level as it is at
        > the level of our identity: Believe the scriptures and the gurus when
        > they tell us that we are That. Recognise that we are the witness of
        > all these states, and allow the healing to take place.

        Thanks, Bob -

        This is a beautiful discourse.
        When we attune to this divine
        level of our identity, we not
        only can sit back and enjoy
        the movie of our lives without
        resistance to change, or even
        attachment to outcome, we are
        free on the mental and physical
        level to enjoy better health,
        improved physical grace, and
        an explosive gratitude for life.

        You may have noticed that on
        some other sites, I get pretty
        badly rapped for offering a sort
        of "applied metaphysics" in the
        area habit control for smoking
        and overeating, stress reduction,
        and, yes, for playing better golf,
        as if it's inappropriate for someone who
        presents his "guru" status so openly.

        But this "witnessing", this
        attunement with our divine
        identity, as spoken of in the
        discourse you posted, is the
        critical first step (at least
        in my approach) to achieve
        goals of any sorts.

        When a smoker, stressor or overeater
        or golfer is able to step back
        and "watch the movie", through
        guided imagery, of themselves
        overindulging, overrreacting
        (or over-swinging) - a new awareness
        and a new level of non-attached
        relaxation presents itself and begins
        to take hold, and they see their choices
        more clearly and objectively.

        If they happen to break through
        to a new perceptual condition
        that this witnessing can open up,
        in the completion of their course
        in applied metaphysics, then not
        only will they improve their
        mental and physical well-being,
        they may come to know the core
        truth that sets them free to
        enjoy life on an entirely new
        level of joy and contentment.

        I'm a witness.

        Namaste and love,

        Jeff
      • medit8ionsociety
        ... Dear Papajeff, I have always wondered if those who have a problem with your helping people with smoking, weight control, golf, etc. would find something
        Message 3 of 6 , May 30, 2003
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          "Jeff Belyea" <jeff@s...> wrote:
          > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety <
          > no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > >
          > > So, we can say that life is fundamentally suffering, but at a deeper
          > > level it is all divine. And the scriptures tell us that not only is
          > > Divinity beyond all suffering, but that That is what we are. So our
          > > solution is not so much at the physical and mental level as it is at
          > > the level of our identity: Believe the scriptures and the gurus when
          > > they tell us that we are That. Recognise that we are the witness of
          > > all these states, and allow the healing to take place.
          >
          > Thanks, Bob -
          >
          > This is a beautiful discourse.
          > When we attune to this divine
          > level of our identity, we not
          > only can sit back and enjoy
          > the movie of our lives without
          > resistance to change, or even
          > attachment to outcome, we are
          > free on the mental and physical
          > level to enjoy better health,
          > improved physical grace, and
          > an explosive gratitude for life.
          >
          > You may have noticed that on
          > some other sites, I get pretty
          > badly rapped for offering a sort
          > of "applied metaphysics" in the
          > area habit control for smoking
          > and overeating, stress reduction,
          > and, yes, for playing better golf,
          > as if it's inappropriate for someone who
          > presents his "guru" status so openly.
          >
          > But this "witnessing", this
          > attunement with our divine
          > identity, as spoken of in the
          > discourse you posted, is the
          > critical first step (at least
          > in my approach) to achieve
          > goals of any sorts.
          >
          > When a smoker, stressor or overeater
          > or golfer is able to step back
          > and "watch the movie", through
          > guided imagery, of themselves
          > overindulging, overrreacting
          > (or over-swinging) - a new awareness
          > and a new level of non-attached
          > relaxation presents itself and begins
          > to take hold, and they see their choices
          > more clearly and objectively.
          >

          Dear Papajeff,
          I have always wondered if those who have a
          problem with your helping people with smoking,
          weight control, golf, etc. would find something
          wrong with Zen masters who teach caligraphy,
          archery or tea ceremony. I guess it's partly due
          to resentment(or some negative adjective) about
          the marketing of the products. But I know that
          there is lots of testimony that your methods
          have helped many, and I know that what you share
          has a "real" functional benefit. Most importantly,
          the basis of what you are sharing is no different
          than what the Zen masters are doing.....

          > If they happen to break through
          > to a new perceptual condition
          > that this witnessing can open up,
          > in the completion of their course
          > in applied metaphysics, then not
          > only will they improve their
          > mental and physical well-being,
          > they may come to know the core
          > truth that sets them free to
          > enjoy life on an entirely new
          > level of joy and contentment.
          >
          > I'm a witness.
          >
          > Namaste and love,
          >
          > Jeff

          So, Papajeff, in the words of St. R Crumb,
          "Keep on keeping on".

          Peace and blessings,
          Bob
        • Jeff Belyea
          ... Thanks a truckload, Bob - Mr. Natural http://www.naturalenlightenment.com
          Message 4 of 6 , May 30, 2003
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            >
            > So, Papajeff, in the words of St. R Crumb,
            > "Keep on keeping on".
            >
            > Peace and blessings,
            > Bob

            Thanks a truckload, Bob -

            Mr. Natural

            http://www.naturalenlightenment.com
          • Nina
            ... Hi, Jeff, and Bob, John (the husband) is re-establishing his practice of golf. He s always believed that playing golf is a practice of zen, not unlike
            Message 5 of 6 , May 30, 2003
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              Jeff:
              > > You may have noticed that on
              > > some other sites, I get pretty
              > > badly rapped for offering a sort
              > > of "applied metaphysics" in the
              > > area habit control for smoking
              > > and overeating, stress reduction,
              > > and, yes, for playing better golf,

              Bob:
              > Dear Papajeff,
              > I have always wondered if those who have a
              > problem with your helping people with smoking,
              > weight control, golf, etc. would find something
              > wrong with Zen masters who teach caligraphy,
              > archery or tea ceremony. I guess it's partly due
              > to resentment(or some negative adjective) about
              > the marketing of the products. But I know that
              > there is lots of testimony that your methods
              > have helped many, and I know that what you share
              > has a "real" functional benefit. Most importantly,
              > the basis of what you are sharing is no different
              > than what the Zen masters are doing.....

              Hi, Jeff, and Bob,

              John (the husband) is re-establishing his practice of golf. He's
              always believed that playing golf is a practice of zen, not unlike
              archery. Recently, he's been reading the book "The Natural Swing",
              which has prompted him to look at how he moves energy through his
              arms and change how he holds the club. Have you heard of it?

              Nina
            • Jeff Belyea
              ... Hi, Nina - Haven t heard of this one, unless it is The Natural Golf Swing by George Knudsen. Scott Peck, Tim Gallway, and Michael Murphy have published
              Message 6 of 6 , May 30, 2003
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                --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina" <
                murrkis@y...> wrote:
                > Jeff:
                > > > You may have noticed that on
                > > > some other sites, I get pretty
                > > > badly rapped for offering a sort
                > > > of "applied metaphysics" in the
                > > > area habit control for smoking
                > > > and overeating, stress reduction,
                > > > and, yes, for playing better golf,
                >
                > Bob:
                > > Dear Papajeff,
                > > I have always wondered if those who have a
                > > problem with your helping people with smoking,
                > > weight control, golf, etc. would find something
                > > wrong with Zen masters who teach caligraphy,
                > > archery or tea ceremony. I guess it's partly due
                > > to resentment(or some negative adjective) about
                > > the marketing of the products. But I know that
                > > there is lots of testimony that your methods
                > > have helped many, and I know that what you share
                > > has a "real" functional benefit. Most importantly,
                > > the basis of what you are sharing is no different
                > > than what the Zen masters are doing.....
                >
                > Hi, Jeff, and Bob,
                >
                > John (the husband) is re-establishing his practice of golf. He's
                > always believed that playing golf is a practice of zen, not unlike
                > archery. Recently, he's been reading the book "The Natural Swing",
                > which has prompted him to look at how he moves energy through his
                > arms and change how he holds the club. Have you heard of it?
                >
                > Nina

                Hi, Nina -

                Haven't heard of this one,
                unless it is "The Natural
                Golf Swing" by George Knudsen.

                Scott Peck, Tim Gallway,
                and Michael Murphy have
                published books on this
                golf/zen subject, as well.

                Tim's dedication in his
                book "Inner Golf" is to
                his guru. I like that.

                Enjoy the day,

                Jeff
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