Thank you for your response, which I’m still sitting with, because on the day I received it, I was pitched down into the pits again; I didn’t know I had climbed up enough to have some distance to fall back in, or maybe the bottom hollowed out some more to make room. It is like when I think I have resolved the suffering enough in my mind, and clawed back some sort of stability or respite, another wave hits and submerges me to deeper depths, it seems. I know everyone has sufferings, the level of which is subjective, mostly, but I’d like to ask, why is mine so intense? I still would like to know what I’m doing wrong, so I can stop it, thank you.
The causes of our actual suffering reside in actions that we have performed in the past, under the influence of ignorance and the other mental afflictions. The way these seeds are being reactivated, through a complex network of causes and conditions, is almost impossible to grasp with our actual limited vision. What we are left with is the present situation.
It is a waste of time and energy to try to figure out, at this point, the precise origin of the challenges we are facing. When someone has been shot with a poisoned arrow, try to figure out who did it and why, is a waste of precious time. By the time we have collected a bunch of unnecessary information the person is dead.
There is an emergency in the present moment that needs to be addressed. We need to regroup all of our resources to fight the poison that is killing us from within. The Dharma offers us, with the practice of Mind Training, and in particular with the practice of the exchange and balance (sending and taking) very efficient tools to recycle the waste of the past into a treasure of compassion and discernment.
In the Bodhicaryavatara, chapter 8 verse 120, Shantideva writes:
Thus whoever wishes to quickly afford protection
To both herself and other beings
Should practice that sacred mystery:
The exchanging of self for others.
It’s not so much the problem of what we have done that must be addressed, but rather, what are we doing with the actual situation and, whether or not we are fully committed to use the tools of transformation that the Dharma offers us. If we don’t seize this opportunity now, we will wallow endlessly in constant sorrow. We will blame the world and others. We will dream of being someone else, somewhere else.
The path leading to the cessation of suffering is a path of action. Action, is addressing what is real and workable.
May you find the determination to practice the sacred mystery of the exchange.