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Action in Response to Suffering

| Nirmala | Suffering

Action in Response to Suffering

Published on
01 January 2015


I recently received an email from someone who's quiet, peaceful, meditative life was completely disrupted by a new source of powerful yet inaudible subsonic noise pollution next door that has created a wide range of extreme physical and emotional challenges. He also shared that for a variety of reasons, he believes that he cannot move away from the home where this is happening. All of this has also caused an existential questioning of all of the spiritual wisdom and teachings that he has immersed himself in for years. Here is the response I offered:

I am touched by the depth of suffering you are going through and I hope and pray you find relief soon. I can share the perspective that you are eternal, and this pain and suffering is not eternal. So what you truly are will ultimately not be harmed or damaged by this experience. This does not reduce the pain that is here, but it can sometimes help to remember that this too shall pass. Here is a blog post I wrote a while back about this:

You Cannot Be Harmed

However, since eternity is such a long time from now, I would also suggest you explore any and all solutions available to you. One idea that popped into my mind was to suggest that you get a used van with a mattress and sleep each night in a nearby campground or natural area. You could also spend time each day away from home by meditating in your van. This does not require that you move away from home, but it could give your body and mind some relief in the meantime. This is just a suggestion, and perhaps there are other solutions that are "outside the box" that you have not considered yet.

I also can gently share that there seems to be a new form of spirituality being born on this planet that is more about integrating spirituality into the life of the body and the world. In the past, spirituality was often a way to escape the world and its dense and difficult challenges. That was the best option given the limits of the collective consciousness at the time. But now, there seems to be a new opportunity to include everything in an expanded consciousness of unconditional acceptance, including every aspect of our humanness. This is not even remotely easy, and is often incredibly painful, but it does allow for even more growth and expansion of consciousness in the end. From this perspective, there was nothing wrong with your peaceful and protected existence, but it also was simply not complete. Perhaps because you were so successful in removing yourself from the world, the world needed to do something dramatic to get your attention, and bring you back "down to earth".

Please understand that I am not suggesting that you did something wrong or that you are in any way to blame for your present moment circumstances. We are never to blame for what happens to us (as there are so many multi-dimensional influences that create our experiences), but in the end, we are always responsible (able to respond) to our experiences. Because of the myriad of influences, we are never in control of the results of our efforts to change and improve our circumstances. But in taking more responsibility for our experience, we can gradually grow and evolve into a place where suffering is reduced overall.

The integration of our spirituality and our humanness and physicality is only achieved when we take direct action. You do not need to immediately fix or solve your problems, but every time you do take even a simple action in response to what is here and what is happening now, this strengthens the connection between your eternal true nature and the very human body and very difficult physical world we live in. Given the inherent limitations of this physical existence, we probably never reach a place of no pain or difficulty, but as more of our true nature contacts our life and our world, this pain and difficulty can be experienced more and more from the wisest, strongest, most compassionate and loving place deep within our being. Moving from this depth can also create a relatively more functional life where our beliefs and conditioning do not limit us as much from taking effective and useful actions. But in the end, the biggest transformation of our suffering comes directly from the flow of wisdom, compassion, peace and love that is always still possible even when there is no "solution" to the problem(s) we face.

In this light, I invite you to explore and take whatever actions you can, and to question any ideas or beliefs that stop you from taking more action to solve your difficulties. In taking action and taking responsibility for what you can do here and now, you may find that this flow of inner wisdom and love can start to happen at least a little bit more with each choice you make, regardless of what the results of each action or choice is in the short term. This is the real opportunity of this human incarnation: not to have a perfect and completely peaceful life, but to discover more fully the inner capacities of our eternal true nature in direct response to the sometimes overwhelming and painful realities of being human.

Again, I hope and pray you find relief soon, and I hope some of this message is a bit helpful to you.


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