How to Deal with Suffering in Daily Life?
Suffering in life is inevitable. No one can escape ageing, sickness and death. Everyone has to face it and no one is free from the worry and anxiety it brings. We must face the fact that the unexpected is always around the corner. A loved one’s betrayal, losing a job or the respect among your peers are all hard experiences to bear. But trying to suppress or run away from suffering only makes things worse. The best way to deal with it is to treat suffering as an opportunity to grow and to realize its true nature. This way, you will be able to transform suffering into lasting inner happiness.
In our life, we will experience many sufferings—the sufferings of birth, ageing, sickness, and death and that which comes from other aspects of life, such as relationships, etc. There are some universal principles that apply to anyone in the world, such as impermanence—marriage relationship is impermanent, wealth cannot be totally relied upon, and social status is unstable, etc. So no matter how happy one may appear now, since happiness itself has the nature of change, when it changes, it will inflict lots of suffering on our bodies or minds.
In this case, how should we face these situations? If we often prepare ourselves and think about these situations ahead of time, gradually we will gain more inner strength and become stronger. This is what we need to learn and practice. Therefore, it is very important for us to comprehend suffering. Intentionally suppressing suffering or running away from it is of little help and will never be the method to eliminate it instantly and effectively. However, if we can contemplate suffering deeply regarding its essence, its cause and effect, we will find that suffering is actually not so terrifying and harmful.
Many practitioners can transform suffering onto the path and practice through it. Although they experience suffering, they won’t be knocked over by it. If we can recognize the nature of suffering, it can be a very good teacher for us. Why? Because when we experience suffering in daily life, it actually provides us a good opportunity to grow and learn. A teacher cannot be available and around all the time, and even if he is, he may not be happy to be ready for you always. But suffering is always there with us in our daily life, from which we can learn to make our minds stronger and enrich our personal experience. In this regard, it is very beneficial.
When practitioners encounter suffering in life, they won’t react like ordinary people who take suffering as real existence. For example, when a family member passes away, some people would suffer extremely to the point of thinking about going to die too. However, a good practitioner won’t be like that. So I often think that inner happiness is the true, lasting happiness, compared to the happiness obtained from material things that never lasts very long.