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The end of suffering

Posted on September 05 2016

Why do anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering. Eckhart Tolle

I had been fidgeting for the past five minutes and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I didn’t have to be anywhere, I had no immediate deadlines and yet my mind was darting back and forth. There had to be something I was missing… but I knew there was nothing missing because I have watched my mind long enough to know when it is repeating a pattern and it repeats patterns quite often.

Studies have shown that most of our thoughts are repetitive. It’s actually rare that we have new thoughts. Instead, most of us dance between the past and the future, repeating the same conditioned patterns of thinking. This loop plays over and over through the day. When a new day starts, we do the same thing again.

The mind is a beautiful thing and it is indeed “a terrible thing to waste.” It can solve the most complex problems but what it actually ends up doing is chewing on the same thoughts over and over. We have relinquished control to the mind; we allow it to continuously search for and create problems because we are afraid of what we might find in ourselves –outside of the patterns we’ve created and have embedded in our souls.

We are the creators of our own suffering. If each of us had a billion dollars in the bank, perfect homes and marriages, perfect children; if we all had perfect lives, we would still find a way to deny the present moment. Our minds would still find ways to create “drama”.

Because if there was no “drama”, what would we do with the silence? The stillness? The world is filled with challenges but we seem to be the only creatures who think that we can deny what is, fight against nature and her current and actually win.

Nature does not know good or bad. She only knows what is. When a storm comes and bends a palm tree to the point where its head actually touches the ground, there is acceptance that the storm is present. The tree may stand firm at first, it may sway and it may stay bent for some time. After the storm, it springs back up.

Whatever is happening, is happening for a reason…

The funny thing is that whatever is actually happening in the present moment is rarely ever the problem. What rules is fear. Fear of loss, sadness, solitude and emptiness. So, if enlightenment is the end of suffering, the acceptance of what is as it is, then embracing the present moment is the only way out. Life is transient, it is flux. What is, is what is. It might change and it might not but most likely, it will.

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