In any situation or context, you can choose not to suffer!
My Rheumatoid Arthritic condition has struck again. This time it has come with a vengeance – seizing my lower back in painful spasms. Yesterday, I was at the beach, in Mamallapuram, ahead of delivering my signature Fall Like A Rose Petal Talk there at Eli’s Kitchen. As we walked on the beach, I was in terrible pain as I took each step. But we were shooting some test shots for the cover of my next Book. So, I endured the pain and posed for the camera every time I was asked to. When climbing the stairs leading up to Eli’s Kitchen, I found the stabs of pain unbearable. I did not even sit down when I was invited to lest I am unable to spring up immediately when it is time for me to deliver my Talk. But soon, I was telling our story, sharing our learnings, answering questions from an audience, most of them expats, on happiness, love, compassion, Universal Energy, miracles and courage. In the 90-odd minutes that I shared, I did not experience any pain whatsoever. It must have been there. But my bliss overpowered it handsomely!
That experience last evening, yet again, reiterated in me the learning that immersion in the now always makes pain powerless. If you look deeply at whatever is causing you pain at the moment and stay in this moment, immersed in the now of reality, your mind will not even report the pain. This state is called Buddhahood.
Buddhahood is not an out-of-bounds state that is the prevail of an exclusive few. It is available to anyone. 24 x 7. And it is free. It is a truly liberating state. It comes with awareness of your present, of your now. So, in an extraordinary painful phase, when you are attending only to your pain, you miss, or you are absent from, the rest of the Life that is happening to you. But when you immerse yourself in the moment, like what happened with me yesterday, you are soaked in grace, in your bliss. That grace makes your pain powerless. This is not just true of physical pain, but works for emotional pain as well.
Simply, pain is powerful only when you give it the license to cause you suffering. And you suffer only when you wish your pain weren’t there in the first place. But pain is pain. It always comes uninvited, without checking, and at a time that it chooses. Which is why the Buddha famously said that suffering is optional while pain is inevitable. Osho, the Master, went a step further – he called suffering a human invention! So, don’t try to avoid or resist pain. Just don’t give it any attention. Choose not to suffer from it. Instead immerse yourself in everything else that’s happening to you, and you will make your pain powerless.