Suffering is neither random nor arbitrary. In Buddhism, particularly in the Way of Universal Loving Presence, this concept is related to dependent origination. It may seem abstract or difficult to comprehend for some, but it essentially disputes the notion that our experiences are random occurrences, as the phrase "Shit happens" suggests. Instead, experiences arise from specific causes and conditions, which can be personal actions or events in our direct or indirect line of sight.
So, how does this concept apply to daily life? When faced with challenging or difficult situations that lead to mental and emotional turmoil, particularly those that seem beyond our control, it's essential to consider our own role in the circumstances. My sponsor often asks me, "What's your part?" Initially, this question frustrated me, but over time and with maturity, it has helped me recognize that I can either navigate challenging situations with greater self-compassion and understanding for others or remove myself from the situation entirely.
This question encourages introspection and examination of the factors contributing to my suffering, which is essentially my mind's personalized narrative about my experience that it thinks suck. Recognizing my part in a situation enables me to consider potential responses and actions that could alleviate my suffering, especially if I'm willing to change certain aspects of the situation.
Sometimes, the solution is to detach with love, while other times it involves practicing acceptance and letting go. In some cases, it requires facing a situation I was initially reluctant to engage in, realizing that my passivity was not helpful.
Zen meditation, has been instrumental in helping me with this process. Sitting in the present moment and observing my body, thoughts, feelings, and sensations allows me to gain insight into my role in the cause and effect dynamic, both in the present and over time.
In this Way, I share with you how I experience dependent origination not as an esoteric theory, but as a practical understanding of our experiences rooted in reality. By comprehending this principle, we can better navigate our lives and find liberation from suffering.
一Dignity and Grace