is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey ?

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simpleaser
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is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey ?

Post by simpleaser » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:01 am

is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey ?

i've heard many spritual teachers saying suffering is the motivation for spritual realisation.

is this the case for you ?

if so

how has it impacted on your spritual journey?

Ralph
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by Ralph » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:06 am

is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey ?
Yes, suffering and the craving for freedom and peace in my own skin was the start of my spiritual journey.
how has it impacted on your spritual journey?
it made me realize that the one that was suffering was not the real 'me' and the craving I had for peace and freedom never left me.

18andlife
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by 18andlife » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:29 pm

A lot of times what we take to be suffering is just an unpleasant or restless feeling and what we take to be freedom is just a pleasant or peaceful feeling. The interesting thing is that depending on how attached we are to either one there exists the potential for suffering and the potential for freedom in both places.

I'm not sure who said it, but someone once said "...the hardest job you'll ever have is keeping yourself separate from god."

Keeping in mind that we maintain that separation almost exclusively with attachment to unpleasantness or pleasantness, I'd have to say that suffering is the motivation for almost everyone's spiritual journey.

Laramie
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by Laramie » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:42 am

Yes it was most definitely suffering for me. I'm not sure I would have taken Tolle's teachings all too seriously if I had been happy and everything was going "well" for me. I lived in constant anxiety for about 4 months...cried almost every single day..and made up scenarios in my head about how the situation I was in could be different. But there was no way to change the situation....and I realized I had to change my mind and my thoughts or else I was going to end up in a mental hospital and/or unable to get on with life.

It has impacted me in the sense that I still have moments where I cry about the situation I was in but the anxiety is 100% gone. There is no more sadness left. Only a wave of emotion that will bring me to tears for a few seconds and then pass through me. Then waves of anger. Waves of despair. Basically I feel a lot of waves entering and exiting and none of them control me. Letting go of trying to control them and they letting go of trying to control me has been my biggest benefit of my spiritual journey. Also, reconnecting with nature...like I actually hear birds and don't complain about the weather and notice the flowers and trees around me. That has been a real blessing. And lastly, I feel I have become a bit softer spoken with my parents instead of snapping at them like I used to.

babu357
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by babu357 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:43 am

Yes it was the reason I started reading Eckhart Toole and thinking more spiritually. I think a lot of people are motivated by this. It's sad that we have to suffer so much before we are able to change. I get frustrated with myself because when things are really bad I am able to stop the constant thinking and worrying and just stick with now. But when things are not so bad it is so hard to do. The fear of "what if" keeps me holding on.
I know, it seems easy, if you know this let go. But it's my real self that knows this. My Ego self really thinks it's putting me in danger to trust myself. Well anyway, yeah It' s the suffering that brought me to this place.

strali
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by strali » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:01 am

Seems like we are all sufferers, I'd be really interested to know if anyone here was drawn to the teaching through something other than suffering? Although Adya often says it's not necessary to suffer to awaken... I'd like to hear that person's story because I never have before. Suffering has played a central role in everyone's story I've heard of. Awakening often seems to come deepest to people who have experienced a great intensity of suffering.. like eckhart and byron katie. Eckhart said that his teachings often just don't make sense to people who are in the prime of their lives, who have awesome careers and are beginning familes, because they are relatively happy with life and don't see the need for it.

When I was very young I read about enlightenment and it had great appeal to me, but after a while I decided that it was really important to me to stay myself, I didn't want to lose who I thought I was and become this identity-less nothing, it wasn't worth it. Then through my teenage years I suffered quite a bit and when I came across the teachings again they somehow seemed a lot more beneficial to me, lol.

One thing I have noticed only lately is that, although it was the desire for relief of suffering that drew me to the teachings, after learning them and applying them to my life it became less about the suffering. I'm very thankful that the suffering in my life continues to be diminished the more I understand, but that's more of a side-effect for me now. Lately it's just been about understanding the world around me in terms of this truth as best I can, and the more I am able to do that the more the teachings are fitting together, and the more beautiful they are becoming to me. Recently I've realized that what drives me now is an attempt to experience that wonder of the truth of things, rather than an attempt to make my life easier or better. And as this shift occurs, the suffering seems to be there much less anyway.

Maybe it has something to do with what Adya said - focus on what you're aiming for, not what you're against (terribly misquoted).

It's too bad that the only (or at least most common) way to come to this seems to be through suffering! Existence is quirky like that :D

Laramie
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by Laramie » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:46 am

I thought I read on these boards somewhere that Nisargadatta was able to awaken from "I am" practice and did not go through the same kind of suffering. Also, Mahavir, a contemporary of Buddha did not suffer personally. He was very much like Buddha in that he decided to give up worldly possessions and focused on meditation. So I think that there is something to be said about perseverance as much as it seems like it is "seeking".

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smiileyjen101
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by smiileyjen101 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:59 am

I've turned this topic around and around and upside down for a wee while pondering it.

I started with the notion that I don't think suffering per se leads to a spiritual journey.
Noticing suffering - yours or others - might lead to looking at things more closely and finding a better way.

But then again I feel that 'suffering' is not necessary, yet it is universally available as an option if you choose to view circumstances that way.
The notion, for me, is that suffering is the resistance agitating in the space between your expectation and your reality. It means that if you feel the resistance and realise one or the other has to move/adjust there is no need to suffer with it, in it, or by it.

I think my spiritual journey has been more motivated by noticing, being curious, trying different options (which agrees with above on perseverence) and being able to resist less, respond more, in love and compassion, to things that are.

I wonder, those who think they came to this by suffering, or those who judge others have 'suffered' - is the resistance to 'what is' now more obvious as the root of that suffering?

I feel more able to grow when I am open and loving than when I'm resisting. Even in grief, recognising that I am grieving and understanding that process allows growth - yes while feeling sad at times, but not suffering. Although I do know those who 'suffer' greatly even in the same circumstances. (No choice is wrong, it just brings a different experience).
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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babu357
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by babu357 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:56 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:I've turned this topic around and around and upside down for a wee while pondering it.

I wonder, those who think they came to this by suffering, or those who judge others have 'suffered' - is the resistance to 'what is' now more obvious as the root of that suffering?
Yes I think my suffering at this point is resistance to What is now. And what was then.
I have to think of it a while as to whether that caused all of my suffering. But now I feel even though I know excepting the now brings about more peace, I or rather The Ego still resets..which causes more suffering.
The thing is even when the Ego self is able to let go , a little part of it resists .So even though I my real self recognizes it's beneficial to me to stay in the Now, the Ego self is terrified and causes the very thing it says it wants to end.
So even when i feel at peace there is a tension that stops me from fully committing to the moment. So I might not experience total peace..It then gives the Ego fuel to say..See, I told you so. You can't have peace. It's very frustrating.
The thing is also is there are things about the present that I don't want to accept. My life s***s now. I have a chronic illness and there's a lot I can't do and I have to stay alone a lot. And so of course I want to run away from that.
So I'll get stuck researching things on the web all night, obsessing about how to get help or what doctors to see, and that's mostly resistance to what is. Not that I should stop looking for answers but I need to accept that my life is changed . Not give up, but accept what is. It's difficult.

alex
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by alex » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:51 am

I might be mistaken but I'm pretty sure that Ananda, Sighclone and Kiki were all just intensely curious abnout the spiritual path and enlightenment and that's what drove them to seek. I'm sure there were elements of suffering in their journeys but it was not the sole motivator. Adyashanti wasn't solely motivated by suffering was he? He just speaks of becoming hooked on enlightenment after reading the word somewhere...
I was personally definitely motivated by suffering and only that... I've found that this can add a greater obstacle to your journey. If you are not a real truth seeker but simply want to improve your life situation when that truth starts peeking through there is going to be one heck of a feeling of FEAR when you start wondering if this is what you really want.. I guess because you begin to realise that this whole shebang isnt about improving your life at all its about realising that there really is no little 'you', boy does the ego end up with something to say about that one. But... that fear is also a wonderous blessing as upon accepting it much light cracks through your shell...

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rachMiel
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by rachMiel » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:14 pm

Suffering definitely played a big role for me in getting all fired up about Eastern teachings, especially at the beginning. I wanted OUT (of personal pain) and the Eastern approach seemed to offer a way. But two other forces also stoked the flames: curiosity (what's over THERE?) and the desire to find/live the "ultimate" human experience (Truth, perhaps). Suffering still plays a role in motivating me to stay on my path, but it's more suffering = dukkha = dissatisfaction with the world of self-based delusion.

I think personal suffering can be a great teacher, but you have to know how to learn from it, rather than wallow in it.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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HandfullaMinerals
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by HandfullaMinerals » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:33 pm

I heard about Tolle 10 years ago, and only when I was suffering did I turn to religion, religious teaching, meditation, and then TPON. Old religions are very obscure for 'normal' people, I was 'normal'. And TPON helped me in a time of anxiety (suffering got me here). It was after all attempts at intellectualising all my conflicts failed. There were too many balls I was juggling and in the end I realised I was not going to find peace in it. I settled on 'solutions' and found that the more I thought, the shorter span the 'solutions' lasted for, like a mental drug. And My pain body got larger as a result, so much so that I had chest pains and a bad burning sensation. When TPON guided me through feeling it all fully, immediately all the religious stuff, the philosophy, and even all of TPON became clear to me.

I look back at TPON and am amazed that I haven't touched it in months, but there is a deep understanding of some of the stuff that meant something else before I fully opened up to it all.

So it was suffering, curiosity, suffering, curiosity, more suffering and then spinning down to my current state. I'm still pretty messed up. I realise that my ego takes a few facts and turns them into mental novels. I could probably fill a book shelf with all the fictions!!
It is the ego which raises difficulties, creating obstacles and then suffers from the perplexity of apparent paradoxes. Find out who makes the enquiries and the Self will be found.

Nowna
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by Nowna » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:40 pm

Oh yeah, ironically didn't realize that I'd been suffering so deeply for soooo long until my world (life situation) began to fall apart. Now I realize that I was living in my own head story, not within my Being. I was so identified with my role, things and people around me that I didn't even notice that my Being existed anymore (I remember my Being when I was young). I now see people at every turn living in the same way I did. It makes me so sad. I want them to experience this awakening...it's hard to let it be. I guess people have to awaken when they are ready?

Ralph
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by Ralph » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:17 pm

alex wrote:
I guess because you begin to realise that this whole shebang isnt about improving your life at all its about realising that there really is no little 'you', boy does the ego end up with something to say about that one
Nowna wrote:
Now I realize that I was living in my own head story, not within my Being. I was so identified with my role, things and people around me that I didn't even notice that my Being existed anymore (I remember my Being when I was young). I now see people at every turn living in the same way I did. It makes me so sad. I want them to experience this awakening...it's hard to let it be. I guess people have to awaken when they are ready?
Beautifully said alex and Nowna ! .... once we realize we are not the ego , then we can finally rest in peace and freedom and true love.

As Burt Harding wrote (paraphrasing)

" Who you are is a human being, a BEING playing the human role. The human is needed to realize the being. Once the being is realized, the being integrates with the human and becomes a WHOLE being ".

There are 6 billion humans on earth but only ONE being and you and me are that . Our mistaken Identity needs to be seen.

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tikey
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Re: is/was suffering the motivation for you spritual journey

Post by tikey » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:59 am

Yes. I think there is no point of seeking help if you dont need it. I mean spirituality is a kind of help. If your problems are of spiritual nature then ET can help you. If your problems are of spiritual nature you suffer a lot and you need help. So, yes I think most of us come here because of suffering. There are few for sure, who are seeking enlightenment as a form of strenghtening their egos, because they think they will be greater when they got enlightened. Well, its funny but when you finally becom enlightened the idea od your own "greatness" is very stupid and you dont belive in an idea, that when you are finally enlightened you are better or greater. Anyway those people arent the ones who search enlightenment for true resons. Their reasons are superfcial. So only yhose who search enlightenment because they cant stand the suffering they inflict on themselves are the true seekers. Although both should find enlightenment. There is no human on this planet about whom we can say "enlightenment is not for you". That would be also stupid. So although some people search enlightenment because of superficial reasons they deserve enlightenment too, paradoxically lol...

Anyway... I was terribly suffering. I was torturing myself with negative thoughts etc, I was depressed and ET's teaching somehow (I dont know how) managed to transform me into much more happy and peacfull person than before. I am really greatfull for his teachings. So... thats my answear.
Im just a cloudless sky :)

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