In order to alleviate suffering, the first thing we have to do is to cultivate the aspiration to know reality as it is. A lot of the suffering we experience comes from wrong perceptions, from not seeing things as they really are, and from not realizing how the constant push and pull of desires unsettle our balance. In order to see clearly, we need to develop the ability to pay focused attention and sharpen our noticing skills. We need to examine life and do our best to consciously unlearn the unwholesome notions that we may have unconsciously learned. We need to remove those distorting lenses that impair clear vision, such as wrong ideas and beliefs.
We have to ponder not only on the question, “Who am I?” but also on the question “Who am I not?” We should welcome a healthy dose of doubt in our lives, and consider that perhaps we are not who we think we are. We may have created all sorts of stories about ourselves, but most likely those stories do not match reality. Perhaps it’s time to take a good look at ourselves and realize that we are holding a series of distorted and unrealistic views about ourselves, about others, and about life.
We need to be careful with what we think, say, and do, because unwholesome thoughts, words, and actions create suffering. We must accept without hesitation that restraint, simplicity, and frugality, combined with selflessness, compassion, and a steadfast determination to do no harm, unequivocally eases suffering in the world.
It is by curbing reactivity and expanding the time between receiving a stimulus and choosing a response — which is put into practice by making unhurried and thorough assessments of the situations, applying wise discernment, and choosing the most appropriate responses — that we trim misery down. It is by remaining awake, alert, attentive, aware, and appreciative of life in the present moment that we reduce anguish. It is through mindful living that we diminish agony and tribulation in the world.
In a nutshell, conscious living is the way out of suffering.
Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect, and write, and who not only strives to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches mindfulness meditation, mindful living, and the acclaimed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He organizes Silent Peace Walks.
Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store
– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”