Aversion to Suffering

Contemplation, for me means, withdrawing attention from outward, objective, particular, and temporal concerns, and refocusing on inward, subjective, general and even eternal realities. The desire for self entertainment falls away as I turn my attention inwardly toward the heart. I see that desire is fuelled by outward, objective, particular, and temporal concerns; a yearning for distraction from a a truth of life that includes both joyful and uncomfortable experiences. A possible truth might be that through these concerns we separate what is inseparable. We are conditioned to pursue hedonistic impulses and to avoid suffering. The irony is that one is not separate from the other. Turning toward the heart we find a joy for life not dependent on the search for pleasure. From this place we are better able to understand and deal with the temporal and particular. We find joy in love as we bring it to relations. But it includes a tolerance for suffering that our conditioning causes us to be averse to. I find that it is in coming to be ba able to be with my suffering that I rediscover compassion and a more direct experience of relating to the suffering of others.

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