Is There Suffering Right Now?
The mind's activities and life experience can be overwhelming. When we practice, it can seem like there's so much to negotiate, face, understand, heal, etc. Sometimes it's useful to distill practice down to the simple inquiry - "Is there suffering right now?"
As we sit, we just notice if suffering is our experience right now. We don't notice it to try to address it, or understand it, or analyze it. We just acknowledge with a soft, tender heart, right now is suffering. Something in our body, or our mind, or our heart is suffering. A little, a lot, it doesn't matter. Just, right now is suffering. And then we "be" and allow the next moment. Right now is....
There is a fluctuation between suffering, neutral, and ease. If you make your moment-to-moment practice just a simple acknowledgement of the flavor of the moment, without any additions, that is enough. Forever!
Do you believe that?
We think there is something to heal. In a way that's true and it's often a useful framework. But, if we get stuck in that paradigm, we can stay turning in circles and never get to the root cause of suffering. The deepest suffering isn't about content, it isn't about wounding, it isn't about story. It's about the attachment to the content, wounding, story. Something deep inside us is terrified of letting go of the story. Why? Because in a way it defines us.
What happens when we let go of the story? Investigate there, in that answer!
We drop below the story by asking what is truer than that? Well, just the tone of the moment is truer than that. This moment is suffering. Or, this moment is neutral. Or, this moment is easeful. If you stay close to that reality, the mind's attempt to pull you into views, beliefs, blame, fear, revenge, anticipation, defense, story, etc., is limited. Just pull back slightly from those thoughts and ask, what is below this? What is more true? What is the tone of this moment?
Ask the question from your heart. Let awareness be expansive enough to encompass your whole body. And then just "know" the answer gently. And then allow the next moment.