There is really no suffering. Suffering is always self-created. There are two ways people can suffer. Generally, people are thinking in terms of physical suffering and mental suffering. Actually there is no physical suffering. It is just physical pain, mental suffering.
Pain is a natural process. Even when a mosquito bites there is a pain and it must be there. Otherwise, you will not know that a mosquito is biting you. If I take away pain from your body, it would also lose all sensation. If you put your hand into fire, you will not know. So there is nothing wrong with pain, pain is very much needed for you and it is good for you. Wherever there is no pain in your body, just see how many shapes and sizes you have cut them. Suppose there was no pain in your whole body, you would cut yourself into ribbons in the name of fashion. Now you walk on the street, if a bicycle comes you step back—not out of humility—because you know the consequence is pain. Suppose there was no pain in your whole body, if a truck comes you would just walk into it. If there is no pain you will not last because, the basic intelligence to preserve yourself has not flowered. Only as a consequence of pain you are preserving yourself.
There is pain in the body but the suffering is always created by you, it is a mental situation. Why would you create suffering in your mind? Simply because the basic faculties in you, your body and your mind don’t take instructions from you. They do their own things. You want your mind to go here, it goes there. You want it to go there, it goes somewhere else. With this kind of a mind, where are you trying to go anyway? If you have gotten somewhere in your life, it must be an accident.
Suppose you are driving, if your car is going out of control, what is the first thing you should do with it? At that moment there is only one thing on your mind, you want to somehow stop it. Isn’t it the same thing that you need to do with your mind also? You are using your automobile just a few hours a day. But it is through the vehicle of the mind that you are travelling through your life. And it is in an out-of-control state; it does not do what you want it to do. You want to be joyful, but your mind creates suffering.
So when it is like this, isn’t it time that we paid a little attention to our interiority, as to how it should be? We have spent an enormous amount of time and effort in fixing the outside—our homes, our families, our financial situations and social situations. In fixing this, we have invested a huge amount of our life and effort. Right now, the whole experience of your life, the very quality of your life is decided not by what you are wearing, what kind of car you parked outside or what kind of home you live in. This moment how peaceful and how joyful you are, this is the quality of your life. Shouldn’t you at least invest a little bit of your time and effort in fixing your interiority?
The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader.