We spend a great deal of time thinking our existence is permanent and the world around us feels quite solid. We are of course fooled in to this behaviour because largely a lot of life can go unchanged for long periods of time until somethings happens that shakes our ground and we realise it is not so solid after all.
Quite recently I have had a good run at feeling like I am on solid ground, slow steps forward have been every increasing but then yesterday that feeling of being grounded in a permanent sustainable existence was gone in an instant with a phone call from my daughters school. She had suffered a seizure. Her first in two years, and this time it was different, there was no temperature, its wasn't a febrile convulsion. This was new territory, a new kind of seizure, a new problem to try and solve.
For the first time in a long time I felt disoriented, and whilst driving in my car to meet the ambulance I started to feel myself getting angry. Why more suffering, has my little girl not suffered enough already. If suffering was dished out fairly we would all take a cup, rather than some of us taking 10 cups and others none.
That's how it feels at the time, it is all to easy to feel angry and bitter rather than focusing on love and compassion for all of us who feel we have had our fill. And extending that love and compassion to those who do not understand that suffering. The use of the words ' I hope she will be better soon' too easily make my blood boil. 'Hope' is an empty word, it gives people ground and permanance in a world where there is none.
We can let the seeds of suffering cause us more pain, or we can choose to sit with the Buddha and begin to understand why we feel the pain. We shouldn't allow the suffering to stop us from being happy. And my little girl beaming from ear to ear this morning showed me that love can carry us through our pain. Dark days can be followed by bright ones. Her state of good health today, may not be the case in a weeks time but through the ups and downs we must hold on to love and compassion in our hearts. If we do not then the suffering will turn to anger and bitterness and no light will shine in our hearts. So when I next catch my self saying I have had enough of suffering I will turn to Quan Yin and be reminded that love and compassion can dissolve the pain of unhappiness. Suffering is a lesson in unconditional love, and in our darkest of days if we listen to our hearts and offer our sufferering to the Buddhas and the Bodhisattva's we can learn how to live without fear, embracing suffering for what it is, a part of life that without it's existence we would never see the beauty of a perfect sunrise, we would never see a smile and appreciate it's energy. Namo Amida Butsu.
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