Live and let live policy: –
The question is, how can we consistently and steadfastly maintain this set of underlying values and yet remain flexible?
First consider the few fundamental facts: 1) I am human being. 2) I want to behappy and I don’t want to suffer. 3) Other human beings, like myself, also want to be happy and don’t want to suffer.
Emphasizing the common ground one shares with others, rather than the differences, results in the feeling of connection with all human beings and leads to the basic belief in the value of compassion and altruism. It can be tremendously rewarding simply to take some time to reflect on our own value system and reduce it to its fundamental principles. It is the ability to reduce our value system to its most basic elements, and live from that vantage point, that allows us the greatest freedom and flexibility to deal with the vast array of problems that confront us on a daily basis.
To feel happy while suffering: –
There are three modes of suffering.
1. Visible suffering, which is self-evident.
2. Hidden suffering, this is concealed beneath the appearance of pleasure, for example food poisoning or bit by snake or house catches on fire.
3. Invisible suffering, this is hardest to distinguish because it seems fromthe blindness of our own minds, where it remains so long as we are in the grips of ignorance and selfishness. Ego clinging, selfishness or self-centeredness causes this.
Suffering will always exist as a universal phenomenon, but every individual hasthe potential for liberation from it. We all have the ability to study the causes of suffering and gradually to free ourselves from them. We all have the potential to sweep away the veils of ignorance, to free ourselves of the selfishness and misplaced desires that trigger unhappiness, to work for the good of others and extract the essence from our human condition. It’s not the magnitude of the task that matters; it’s the magnitude of our courage. The path is the process of using all available means to eliminate the fundamental causes of suffering by recognizing suffering, by eliminating its source, by ending the suffering and by practicing the path.
Managing suffering: –
If it is possible to relieve mental anguish by transforming one’s mind, how canthis process be applied to physical suffering? How do we endure crippling, virtually intolerable pain? We should distinguish between two types of sufferings. Physical pain and the mental and emotional suffering. It is the mind that reacts to pain with fear, rejection, despondency, or feeling of powerlessness. Instead of being subjected to a single agony, we accumulate the host of them. There are various methods to overcome suffering.
1. One method uses mental imagery, when a powerful feeling of desire,anger, greed, attachment, pride, plagues one’s mind, it is better to imagine yourself sitting in a serene place at the shores of ocean or on top of the mountain.
2. Another lets us transform pain by awakening ourselves to love andcompassion. When we experience a powerful sense of empathy with the suffering of others, our impotent resignation gives way to courage, depression to love, narrow mindedness to openness toward all those around us.
3. A third involves developing inner strength. This visualization is apowerful means to develop benevolence and compassion. It can be carried out anytime and during your day-to-day activities.
Realistic Expectations: –
It takes a long time to develop the behavior and habit of mind that contributeto our problems. It takes equally long time to establish the new habits that bring happiness. There is no getting around these essential ingredients, Happiness.
When embarking on path to change, it is important to set reasonable expectations.If our expectations are too high, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. If they are too low, it extinguishes our willingness to challenge our limitations and achieve our true potential. One should never loose sight of realistic attitude of being very sensitive and respectful to the concrete reality of your situation as you proceed on the path towards your ultimate goal. Recognize the difficulties inherent in your path and the fact that it may take time and a consistent effort. It is important to make clear distinction in your mind between your ideals and your standards. By which you judge your progress. Dealing with expectations is really a tricky issue. If you have excessive expectations without a proper foundation, then that usually leads to problems. On the other hand, without expectation and hope, without aspiration, there can be no progress. Some hope is essential. So finding the proper balance is not easy. One needs to judge each situation on the spot.