Budhhahood is a great pain reliever

Every pain, every unresolved relationship situation, every wound, is a disguised opportunity for enlightenment.
There’s a Buddha in you, in me, waiting to awaken. And extraordinary pain, believe me, is not a sign of your past sins and retribution happening to you, as some would want you to believe, but is a sign of extraordinary grace waiting to enter your Life. This entering of grace is what is called enlightenment. It is a state of being and not an event that happens at a specified time at a specified, glorified venue, like,  under a tree. For Gautama, it happened under the Bodhi Tree. For you it can well happen on a potty or at 30000 ft. while you are flying! Buddhahood is a state you will realize, you will awaken to, when you look deeply at what is causing you pain – and understand your pain. Whatever is, look at it intensely. Your first, human and normal, tendency is to resist pain. Instead embrace it. Invite it to tell you why it has arrived in your Life. And it will always tell you why. Be honest. Because pain is not like worry. It is not an imposter. It is a teacher. Initially, you will find external reasoning very powerful to the cause of your pain. As in, he cheated me. So I am in pain. She led me up the garden path, hence I am in pain. My competitor chose unethical means and so my business couldn’t cope and I lost all my money. Instead of apportioning the blame to an external agent, a foreign hand, ask yourself what have you done to have invited this situation? When you know how you invited pain into your Life, your learning will be complete. Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th Century, Persian poet says, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” When this awakening happens, you will be able to live with your pain, yet without suffering from it!

In reality, pain is powerless. If you look deeply at whatever is causing you pain at the moment and stay in this moment, in the now of reality, your mind will not even report the pain. The mind always exists in a past grief or a future worry. In the face of reality, the mind is inactive. Which is why people champion the power of now! So, if you want to profit from your pain, it is possible, by choosing to be aware. Something or someone is perhaps your source of pain, but by not understanding your pain, you are inviting it to stay over longer. All you need to do is look at it intensely, ask what have you done to have invited it over, internalize the learning and watch the pain just leave you alone! This state is called Buddhahood. And Buddhahood, indeed, is a great pain reliever! 

On just Being, Buddhahood and Bliss

Be yourself. Don’t try to become someone else. Drop the urge to “become” and simply “be”. That’s Buddhahood.
Gautama, the Buddha, himself has said this: “Doubt everything. Find your own light.” What this means is that you shouldn’t get carried away by others’ experiences or philosophies. You have to challenge every assumption, question every logic, convince yourself how (your) Life works and accept your own convictions and beliefs.
But this is not the way we have been raised. Everything we do is what we have been “told” to do. There’s very little scope or opportunity to make our own music, pave our own paths and to live our lives as if we were explorers and not followers. Which is why, when you fare badly in academics, you are condemned. I, for example, was thrown out of school and that led to my parents feeling “embarrassed” on my account – their feeling so changed my Life forever. Society’s expectations from us are far removed from the way the Universe works or has planned things for us. According to the Cosmic Design, everything is in its place and everything’s perfect. The Master Plan has no flaws. Society – family, friends, community – says, however, you are not good enough. You must be this way or that way or like him or her. If you succumb to this pressure, you give up being who you actually are. You get trapped in the “becoming game” – wanting to become something that you are either not capable of or interested in becoming – instead of simply being. If you accept who you are, if you stop wanting to become (something, someone) and simply be, that’s Buddhahood.
This is not at all complicated. Simply ask yourself what gives you joy and go do it. You can keep your job, do whatever else you have to do to  discharge your “worldly” responsibilities, and still if you can devote some time to do what you love doing, you have made progress. Doing this, now that you have experienced inner joy, keeping doing more of that stuff. When you do more and more, and then eventually do only that which gives you joy, then you are yourself! You are not trying anymore to become someone else for society’s sake, for family’s sake or for money’s sake. When you live the Life that you enjoy living, that’s Buddhahood.
The Lotus Sutra is the most profound scripture in Mahayana Buddhism. And the defining doctrine in it is the belief that all people can reach an enlightened state. The key to this enlightenment, as I have learnt, is to drop all notions that your Life is imperfect and that you have to do something, become someone else, to make it perfect. Just accept your Life the way it is, accept yourself the way you are, don’t judge, don’t reject, don’t condemn, don’t try to become. Experience everything. Then choose what you love doing. And then keep doing that. Just being yourself.
In your acceptance of your Life the way it is and of yourself the way you are lies you Buddhahood – and your bliss!