What is your mantra about overcoming suffering?
There are very few certainties in life and there are no guarantees that the life we are living today will be the same for us tomorrow.
But one thing that will remain consistent through your life is, you will continually have challenges & problems to overcome & while these challenges will differ from person to person, the solution for any problems can be broken down into 7 key areas for development.
In a sacred text called the Sabbāsava Sutta the Buddha outlines these 7 areas & my interpretation of this text is below. The original text is available to read here in Pāḷi & English
KNOWLEDGE / INSIGHT
We currently live in an age of information & while this stockpile of knowledge can at times be overwhelming it is very useful for overcoming sufferings in your life.
When you have a challenge there is always a solution out there, it’s your job to gather the info, syphon the good from the bad & work out a plan for getting there.
It’s not always easy; in fact it’s usually very difficult & depending on the problem you are facing could take some real trial & error.
But if you are determined to overcome a problem you are facing there will always be a solution out there, you just have to find it!
RESISTANCE / REPLACEMENT
When you are making a transition in life there will be times when you will have to call on your resistance to temptation.
If you are starting a new exercise regime, trying to overcome procrastination or trying to get rid of an addiction of any type, there will be times when you will have to resist the temptation to fall back into bad habits. But while this is very important it is really only part of the solution.
To give up a bad habit using resistance alone would be very difficult, so when you are trying to change a bad routine you will find it easier if you consciously replace it with a more productive one.
If you stop smoking, you could start painting. If you stop eating junk food, you could start eating health food. Or if you are going to stop hanging out in nightclubs & getting drunk, you could start going to yoga & drinking raw juice.
It’s very important that you consciously look for a healthy, sustainable replacement to bad habits, because if you don’t you may end up with a worse habit in its place and fail to overcome suffering.
Consumption works both ways; you could be over consuming or under consuming.
You could be eating too much or not enough. You could be not drinking enough water or be drinking too much fizzy drinks. You could be buying too much stuff that you don’t need or you could be depriving yourself from the things that you do need.
However, it is in your case, consuming more or less of certain things will help you overcome suffering some of life’s challenges.
This lesson really goes hand in hand with knowledge as to when you learn more about your needs as a human being you get more of an understanding of what you need to consume more or less of.
A prime example of this is medicine & when I say medicine I am not just talking about pills, I am also talking about plants, herbs & food medicines.
A lot of us are taking pills for problems that we can overcome naturally & because of these pills we are starting treatment with one problem & the side effects of these medicines are leaving us with more problems all of which need different pills to overcome suffering.