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  • Writer's pictureMax Walsh

Life is suffering.

On first appearances, this is not the most enticing inspirational quote. I can't say I have ever found it hung on the wall quite like a "Live, Laugh, Love", but these words shared by Gautama Buddha (otherwise known as The Buddha) are a core principle in the buddhist faith and for me, have been a powerful sentiment when deep in spiritual practices. Sometimes even day to day life.

Essentially, if life was some mathematical equation, then suffering would be the common denominator. It is true to every living thing, for no matter your place or position in life, at some point you will suffer. It is a Truth to each of us, something in which we all share and can relate.

Seems a bit depressing? Initially, maybe. But accepting this universal truth can create such liberation. To understand this as truth, to accept it as reality, provides calm when suffering arrives. When you are submerged in suffering and you find only darkness, in these moments you can then say to yourself "Ah, but this is life!" which allows you to surrender. Fighting against our suffering only causes us more as we are pushing back on our reality in denial. To live in denial is to not live in truth, and to not live in truth is to be lost in fear.

Once we can be still and surrender to the suffering, recognising this as the state of reality, we can work to move away from it. For suffering is not constant. We are not all constantly suffering. Even when we are, the level of suffering can vary, washing over us in different strengths, waxing and waning.

Trying to move away from suffering before accepting it is like calling a friend and asking directions to somewhere whilst refusing to tell them where you are right now. You cannot find a point B without point A. You cannot find liberation from your suffering if you do not admit that you are suffering.

Accepting everything as it is, is the ultimate tool we can harness ourselves with.

So yes, life is suffering. Isn't that wonderful?

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