March 7 : Cyclic Existence

Every day we complain, “I have this to do, I have that to do. I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want these problems. Things aren’t going the way I want them to.” We all have this mental talk daily, and we think it is an accurate commentary on our problems, that all these things are not happening the way we want them to. But our real problem is that we are in cyclic existence. Our real problem is that we are born with a body and mind under the control of afflictions and karma. The day-to-day likes, dislikes, difficulties, the crises, and the things that we consider truly horrible — like losing a limb, losing a relative or dying — even these things are not really the actual problem. All these things stem from the fact of being born in cyclic existence. 

I find it quite helpful to remember what the real problem is. It is cyclic existence, and if I want to get out, then I must generate the three principal aspects of the path: the determination to be free, the altruistic intention, and the wisdom of realising emptiness. 

When we pay attention to the real problem, then the minor problems, the day-to-day irritations and annoyances recede into the background. They do not become problems. They do not disturb our minds anymore because our intention is focused instead on solving the real problem — getting ourselves and, by extension others, out of cyclic existence. Making that shift in our orientation daily can make the mind much more peaceful as we go about our daily business and interactions. 

“365 Gems of Wisdom” e-book is out now!