Oakville Zen Meditation

#337 Is suffering really necessary? March 7th 21

            Is suffering really necessary?

During his 50 years of verbal teaching, the main message of the Buddha was that life is suffering. Suffering been understood in its generic meaning that is negativity. Was the Buddha a masochistic man? Not at all. In fact he was enjoying good times like anyone else.

Suffering comes from many sources but the main culprit is our ego that is our subconscious image of ourselves with its main purposes of survival, self-protection and self-enhancement.

Ego generates desires, hatred and ignorance meaning the impossibility to differentiate reality from fiction.

Is suffering really necessary in life? The answer is yes and no.

NO, suffering is not necessary:

Obviously we will answer NO. Who wants suffering?

Life will be wonderful w/o suffering. Perpetual joy and bliss from birth to death.

Search for happiness will not be necessary all the time nor to blame someone or something for being unhappy.

YES, suffering it is necessary:

“Where my suffering is coming from??”. “Is it causing by an external event that we don’t control or is it coming from inside that we may control?”

Most of us are blaming someone else or any other negative circumstances of life as source of suffering.

But is it so?

YES, suffering is necessary because it will give you the most likely source of it.

The necessity of suffering is not a pessimistic, fatalistic or masochistic view of life.

If we did not suffered as we have or will, there will be no depth to us as humans beings.

No humility, no compassion, no learning about sources of suffering and you will not be listening to this talk now.

So, the answer is yes. “Why it is necessary”? you may ask. Here is the rational behind it:

Suffering cracks open the protective shell of our ego and then, at this precise moment, comes the point where suffering has served its purpose.

When this protective shield of our ego is open during suffering we can see that the main attributes of our ego that is desires, hatred and illusion are the real culprits of our suffering expressed as dissatisfaction, anger, fear, guilt, and many more negatives feelings.

This awareness of the ego and its components causing suffering is a critical first step:

  To understand the ego driven genesis of suffering and.

  To learn to control its attributes causing pain.

Repeating again the above statement:

Suffering is the key to open the door of the ego’s safe inside witch the main causes of suffering are hidden tightly.

So, suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary that is when the safe of the ego is open and we are able to be mindful of our ego-driven sources of suffering, to accept them and to deal with.

When you go through this process, there are no needs for a key anymore ........at least temporally.

Remember this:

Suffering cannot be controlled without the awareness of its roots, which are desire, hatred, and ignorance of genuine reality, all of them ego generated. When you observe and accept the roots of our suffering you will become detached from them rather than their victim.