Stop the continuous sense of struggle


In the midst of pleasure, we are anxious about when it will end. In the midst of possession, we worry about loss. Even the most beautiful birth and most gracious death come with pain, for entering and leaving the body is inherently a painful process. We know that throughout our day, experience changes from pleasant to neutral to unpleasant, and back again, ceaselessly. This unending change is itself a source of pain. And our habitual reactions to it can create in us a continuous sense of struggle.

One strategy for gaining liberation is to focus our attention directly upon this inherent, continuous experience of dissatisfaction and pain. We must sense it clearly, and find in its midst a freedom that releases us from any identification or grasping. By the careful observation of the source of each action, a constant movement to alleviate suffering is revealed. Yet those who face this truth do not find it a formula for despair, but a gateway to compassion. For within the heart is found a freedom and love even greater than the suffering. By facing the pain of the world they awaken a fearless and merciful heart, the universal birthright of humanity.

Excerpt from The Truth about Suffering by Jack Kornfield

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