December 12, 2022


What to do with suffering? | Ajahn Brahm

What to do with suffering? | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
What to do with suffering? | Ajahn Brahm

Dec 12 2022 | 00:56:23


Show Notes

Happiness is the gap between two moments of suffering. Suffering is the gap between two moments of happiness. How do you deal with suffering in life? Accept it and learn from it. Suffering is part of life, but it’s also an opportunity to learn and grow. When someone says something we don’t like, don’t carry it around being crazy. Let go. Suffering happens. It’s in the world, but it will pass. Sit down and have a cup of tea to keep your energies ready for when things change. 

This dhamma talk was originally recorded on cassette tape on 29th June 2001. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.

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Episode Transcript

AB20010629_WhatToDoWithSuffering Summary Happiness is the gap between two moments of suffering. Offering is the gap between two moments of happiness.: How do you deal with suffering in life? Accept it and learn from it. Suffering is part of life, but it's also an opportunity to learn and grow.: when someone says something we don't like, don't carry it around being crazy. Let go.: Suffering happens. It's in the world, but it will pass. Sit down and have a cup of tea to keep your energies ready for when things change.: This Friday evening, I will be giving a talk on what I call the Buddha's first teaching. The talk is called "The Suffering of Wanting to Know." This is a Buddhist heaven realm. When things go wrong, we vote out the government or we divorce our husband, or we leave our job, we try and find some other way of solving the problem, but not really looking at it square in the face and saying that this is life, we suffer. Transcription U1 0:00 Want to come in, please come in. Those inside, you want to go outside. Now you can go outside. Those who want to stay in the middle by the door, please sit by the door. This evening, I do have a request for a talk. For those of you who don't know how we organize these talks on Friday evening, I'm more than happy to be asked. This is a particular subject you want the monks to talk about that evening that my training is not to be prepared when you give a talk. In fact, the only preparation is just making your mind peaceful and developing loving kindness. I think I might have told you how I was trained in Thailand by a gentire that in the evenings, when there was about to be a talk, he looked at all the monks in the monastery. His eyes would go down, the whole line of monks. If his eyes stopped at you, you're in big trouble. You say, Get up and give a talk. So no one knew when you had to give a talk. And I remember very clearly it was only four years as a monk, and it was one of the biggest ceremonies of the whole year in Thailand. The full moon day in February, which is celebrated in Thailand as Margar Pooja. We don't celebrate that too much here. We usually have the major celebrations on West May and the entry and exit from the range retreat in July and October. The three main ceremonies. This was one of the biggest ceremonies, and all the monks had to go to the main monastery where there were hundreds of monks and thousands of people. On that occasion, my fourth range retreat, a Jian Shah decided he wouldn't give the main talk. That evening he looked down the line. When his eyes met mine, he went past, and I did a sigh of relief. But then his eyes went back up the line again and stopped at me and said a brother one so could ever give a talk had to be entire. That's the way you were trained. Because of that training, you're always able to give a talk at any time. Just the same way that if you really know your subject, if you really know what you're talking about, you should be able to give a talk at any time on that. If you're an expert on, say, car mechanics or an expert on footy or something, you should be able to give a talk at any time. That's what being an expert is all about. But this evening that somebody asked me to give a talk because I had a friend who was experiencing some suffering. And one of the worst parts of that suffering was nothing really to do with her, but one of the people in her class was dying. It's how we deal with the suffering which we see in other people, which sometimes we feel so frustrated about because we can't do anything. It seems that we're impotent or should we do something? The emotions which get caught up with seeing someone else in pain sometimes cause us even more pain. And it's an apt subject for this evening's talk because this is very close to the full moon in July, which is coming up in a few days time. And in the Buddhist calendar that celebrates what we call the Buddha's first teaching, the Buddha's first sermon in historical Buddhism. Once the Buddha became enlightened. That was on WESA. In the 4 May, he traveled to a place called Saranah, just outside of Bananarus, where he gave his first sermon. The heart of what Buddhism was all about. That first sermon was very much on that problem. What to do with the suffering in life, where it comes from, how to deal with it. Because this is essential to our lives and especially essential to religions. This hall here has so many people every Friday night because of suffering. People are really happy and content. They stay at home as long as it's suffering in the world will always be religions which try and answer those problems. People come to a place like this. It might be the suffering because of death or because of disappointment because of cancer. Physical suffering. It can be suffering because of again, losing your job. Or it's also the suffering because of thinking too much as well, which is one of the other types of suffering which people have in this world. Sometimes the philosophers and the great sufferers in life. That's why the famous statue of the philosopher Rodin's thinker holding his poor head up there's days before Panadol where you could this is a lot of suffering to think. And it's one of the great insights you have in meditation. You think, because it's a problem. When there's no problems, there's no thinking. The silence of the mind is a sign of contentment. Silence is a sign line of wisdom, of knowing. When you know, there are no questions come up, there's no thinking arises in the mind. All thinking is a disturbance of the tranquillity of the mind. So people even come to this place because of the suffering of wanting to know. So the Buddha was talking about all these different types of suffering. And especially one of the wonderful things which inspired me when I first came across Buddhism was an acknowledged suffering, acknowledged it as part of life rather than something going wrong. I always remember my father, whenever taught to him about religion that he said that for the best will in the world he could not accept the usual idea of a god simply because that he'd been in the English. Town of Liverpool during the second world War saw not only his own parents die, but saw many of his friends and other relations die in that great war and not die nice deaths, die very painful deaths through the carnage of war being blown up, losing limbs. And he said that he could never believe in a God which was powerful and compassionate. If there was a powerful God then surely that would never allow such things. And that problem of suffering, especially if there's like a God who is a controller seems to again give many problems to people. And in the Buddhist religion they say, well, even if there is a God they haven't got such power because suffering is it's a part of life and no God. No priests, no monk has a power to stop the suffering in human life. One of the reasons is because if you look at what suffering is, you see that it is part and par muscle of the happiness of life. And this is one of the difficulties which people have this wishful thinking thinking. This is some sort of heaven realm. This is some wonderful place. We should only have happiness and everything should go right in this world. When things go wrong, we vote out the government or we divorce our husband, or we leave our job, or we try and find some other way of solving the problem, but not really looking at it square in the face and saying that this is life, we suffer. One of the Buddhist sayings it's like a soldier who gets shot and wounded and says, why me? Why did I get shot? This is unfair. And of course you know the answer. Why did you get shot? Because you join the army. That's what happened to soldiers. You're putting yourself in the firing line. That's why you get hurt. And it's the same in a Buddhism. We say that if you take a human birth, you're liable to all these different types of suffering. What we're actually saying here is becoming real, that with birth there has to be death, happiness. There has to be suffering. Every time you smile, there'll be tears coming later if every time you cry, there'll be happiness after. But this is the reality of life. And if you go deeper into this especially, one of the wonderful things with the Buddhist way of meditation is that it clears away all the dogmas. Clears away not only the religious dogmas, but the individual dogmas. What you want to believe in that's the dogmas inside of you, instead of like a religious dogma, where you don't want to face the truth because it says in the books that this is this sometimes human beings are dogmatic. They don't believe in the truth because they think it says in your book inside it has to be this way. But the wonderful thing with Buddhist meditation is that you get rid of all of those dogmas. You have to set them all aside and to take truth, reality, experience life as your Bible, as your top ticker, as your teachings. And then you find that what's actually in the books is actually the guide. It's a map. It's not the reality. As they say in Zen Buddhism. It's a finger pointing at the moon. But don't mistake the finger from the moon it's pointing to. That's where the books are the fingers. And the moon is your experience. And especially when you put aside all the dogmas inside of you, what you want to believe in, that life must be happy, that life must be good, that life must be enjoyable, that I must live to 70, 80 years of age, I must find my perfect partner in life. And if happily ever after, or find my perfect month to be a nice teacher, he's always around to teach me at any time I want, whatever else it is you want to have in life. Come on, get real. If you look at life. How many of you have ever been sick? Put your hands up if you've never been sick at all. Come on, be honest. Hands up if you've been healthy all your life. OK, all been sick. Correct. So it looks like it's pretty normal to be sick. So why is it that we say, there's something wrong with me, I'm sick today. Put your hands up if you're not going to die. So you're all going to die. Correct. So why do we think that something's gone wrong when one of us dies? What we want to believe in, what's real are two different things. We're really courageous and devoted to truth. We have to put aside what we want to see, what we want to believe in. And go for the truth. The life means death. When someone's born, it means they're going to die. And the whole process of life, what's the meaning of life? The meaning of life is you're going to die. Is what happens in between is the most important part. And what happens in between is all the training, how to die in the same way that when you go to school or university, everything you do all year, all those lectures, those assignments, those tutorials that saw for the final examination, for the degree. And if you pass that degree, you don't have to repeat the course again. Get the message? If you stuff up this lifetime and you don't die, well, you're going to have to come back again. Don't think you finish with school, don't think you've finished with nappies, reincarnation, rebirth. You could have to go back in nappies again and go to school all over again. Those of you are retired and think now you're happy, you have to go to work again. Imagine it Monday mornings all over again unless you get it right. Just like at a school, you pass your exams. The whole of this life is about learning. And that's why a very good description of suffering is growing pains. When you call it growing pains, it looks upon the disappointments of suffering life and in life as teachers, as opportunities to learn. The way I was taught in Thailand was just that. You know that my first name is Ajan. Ajan Brahm. We got sister Agan wajam. We got my teacher, ajan cha. The word agan is a Thai word which comes from the palace, sanskrit word of acharya, meaning teacher. That's what that word means, just teacher. When I was in Thailand, when I was bothered by these mosquitoes who would bite you all day long, The trouble with the Thai mosquitoes. They've been genetically programmed over many years of knowing monks to know that monks were a safe dinner. Put swung to gloves because our monk great freedom. No problems. There's so many parts of our body you get more skin to aim for. So mosquitoes in Thailand would cause you a lot of problems. When he complained about the mosquitoes to your teacher, he said, Mosquito. He asked us to call them a jan mosquito. Teacher mosquito. And that actually put it the whole experience in a different light. You are learning from these things. These were teaching you something sick in the same way when you were sick. It was a teaching experience. That's why first or second year in Thailand, I was sick with typhoid fever. In hospital for about three or four weeks, actually, over the Christmas period. Sort of supposed to be Christmas and I felt really awful in hospital. And this was Third World Country Hospital. The 06:00 is a monk's ward. It was a nurse on duty disappeared. I was waiting when the the night nurse coming the monk next to me said, there is no nightness if you happen to get sick or die at night. That's bad karma, bad luck. Better night next time. The nurse didn't come back until 06:00 the following morning. Help. Take me home. Ajan Char, my great teacher, he actually came to see me in hospital. And I felt so elated, so uplifted until he opened his mouth, the famous grammar Wong. So he said, I was waiting for some nice kind words. How you're doing? Are you feeling well? He said, you're either going to get better or you're going to die. Left. Thank you very much. But you couldn't blame it because that was deep teaching. What he was actually saying was that don't get depressed or disappointed with the experience of being really sick with a terrible fever in hospital. Learn from it. Another growing pain is adjunct typhus fever. You do learn from these things. How much do you learn from having a good time? Don't learn very much, do you? In fact, you learn complacency selfishness when things go well for you, whenever there's a suffering in life, disappointment, frustration when things don't go well. These are marvelous opportunities to learn and to grow. That's why one of the similes which I give some of you have heard it so many times, track load of dunk simile. It's like you come to a lovely talk when you go back home. You find that someone has dumped 10 most smelly offensive dung right in front of your door of your house. There's two things about that done. Number one, you didn't order it not your fault. And secondly, no one saw it coming. So you can't bring up someone to get it taken away. You're stuck with it. This is what happens in life, isn't it? The done stands for the trouble. The problem in life smelly, offensive, terrible to experience. But first of all, we don't know why me? Secondly, we can't get someone to take it away. You can't just get someone to magic away your typhous fever, you can't get someone to magic away the problems in your relationship. You can't get a magic wand, sort of bring back the son, the father, the wife, the daughter who's died. You're stuck with it. There are two things which people do with dung in the summer and the first person puts it in their pockets, in their bag, up their shirt, down a skirt, trousers. They carry around with them. And you find if you carry around done that you lose a lot of friends. Quite actually in that sibling. It means you carry around your suffering with you always talking about it, always telling other people how terrible it is. Understandable? Yeah. But you lose a lot of friends the other way. Still with dung. You've all heard this before. You got a garden. Dig it in. Dig in your dung. Great fertilizer. And people who do that, they dig in the dung of their life, the suffering in their life. They learn from it. They grow from it. They grow this amazing garden. Compassion, wisdom, endurance. All the great spiritual qualities which make a rich human being. When you've really been through terrible experiences, when you really know how it feels to be right deep in there, Will you ever pass by someone else who is experiencing the same? You've really been hungry. You'll never give stop giving to someone who's also hungry. You've ever been cold? You'll never fail to give warm to someone else. If you've ever felt real loneliness, you'll be so friendly towards other people. Very often it's a suffering which teaches us to be kind. This is why we grow from the suffering of life. If we stop carrying these things around and we dig it in, it's hard work. We get these beautiful fruits of suffering. The man goes from our trees are so much sweeter than the person's next door. Our flowers are so richer and more fragrant than the person's next door. Why? Because of all the dang we've had in our life. So in Buddhism, we accept that suffering is a part of life. It's opportunities to learn, opportunities to grow. But when we experience this suffering, a great opportunity is to become wise and understand. Understand the biggest question. When, say, cancer hits or a sudden death happens, or we get divorced because our relationship falls apart or whatever else it is you say, Why? We want to know the answer to that question why does this happen? And to find the answer to that question, Why? We really have to look where suffering lies. And so often when we look at the question, Why? We're looking for someone to blame. It's his fault, or it's God's fault or it's the government's fault, it's Mr Howard's fault, or whatever else it is. It's amazing how much we blame on the government. That's why you have to be a fool to want to be a prime minister. You're just asking for trouble to ask him to copy you. So we always want to blame somebody. This is what ajan. Cha used to say that it's when you've got an itch on your head and you scratch your bottom. If you got an itch on your head and you scratch your bottom, does it each ever go away? This is what happens when we blame someone else. Because when there's a problem, there where is suffering. Remember James Samata, one of the senior monks? He's now the advertising monastery in England. He was having a hard time in the early days of the monastery in Thailand. The food was disgusting, the mosquitoes were voracious, the accommodation was terrible, and he was suffering. One day the Hajjan Shah came up to him and said you're suffering. Is it a monster that's suffering or you that's suffering? And he realized he was blaming the monastery. Monastery is not suffering. Suffering lied lay in him inside. Don't think it's a job which is suffering. Your husband, your wife is suffering, but life is suffering. You are suffering. When you see where the suffering, then you can start to do something about it. You can scratch in the right place. Don't go around blaming other people. Don't go around blaming the place you're in. Don't go around blaming life. This is what life is. When people have relationships, a lot of happiness, but a lot of suffering in relationships. And sometimes people think why the amount of suffering in a relationship is directly measured by the amount of happiness you have in it. The two go together, happiness and suffering. This is called duality or the happiest time in your life. Getting married most suffering time in your life, your divorce. Why is that? Reason is that happiness is just the gap between two moments of suffering. Offering is the gap between two moments of happiness. What are the most happiest times of your life so far, when you've had happiness? Why? Why was that happy? You know, sometimes the euphoria which people have when their footy team wins, of all the suffering people have because of the Eagles and the Dockers. Why is that? Because of all the happiness which Essendon and someone else gets. Imagine like sort of the West Australia, 40 teams, one every year. Every year they all won. Would that be any drive to that? It's only because they lose. Lose, lose. Loser. When they do win, then there's happiness is euphoria. It's just like an Olympic Games. So when Kathy Freeman wins, why is that so euphoric? Because of all the other people who lose. That's why. If everybody you won, there would be no happiness. Enjoy there. The very fact that you are happy when you finish your exams is because of all the suffering which goes into studying for them. Look at the happiness which you have in life and see that it's measured by the amount of suffering that went on before. Years ago. I was meeting somebody at Perth Airport before the monk came through. There was a lot of Bahas refugees were coming to Perth that day. They were Iranians before the Islamic Revolution. Pushed them out of their homeland. Many of them had been tortured, many of them had lost their family, had been killed. They fled to Pakistan, leaving everything they had behind. They'd been a refugee camp dance for three or four years again with nothing except hope. Now they've reached a western country. When they came through those doors into the airport, they literally jumped up in the air, clapped, danced and shouted. I found myself jumping up in the air. Very good. Shouting as well. I couldn't think why I was taken up in Euphoria. The whole airport was just dancing. And I thought, why was it that those people were some of the happiest people I've ever seen in my life on that occasion? I thought about that afterwards. The happiness was a measure of all they suffered before. When you look at this, you see that happiness and suffering come in equal portions in life and you cannot have one without the other. If you imagine a heaven realm a heaven realm where you have nothing but happiness. Nothing but happiness. Is that possible? Imagine your favorite food. Imagine your favorite TV program. Imagine it being repeated every day for 300, 400 years. Wouldn't you get fed up? This is what the problem is with sensory experience, with seeing, with hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, even thinking, because things are changing. Happiness is just that which is better than what went before. But it can't always be better. It always has to be measured. By something which is worse. I recall reading an article years ago about one of these gourmets who had spent his whole life going to expensive restaurants, cooking and tasting and the delights of the palate. And he lived in France, where they got the best chefs in the world. And I think there's only ever two or three five star restaurants. And he said whenever he went to a four star restaurant, it was just so suffering because the food wasn't just quite up to that peak he had before. As for me, if I went to a four star restaurant, it would be amazing, because whatever, if I do get good food anywhere, it gets put in the same bowl with all the sweets and everything else and get mixed up. The trouble being, when you do get your food, you which you like, you get food which you don't like at the same time, it all gets mixed up. Because we all were eating one bowl, remember? Why, it's just. This one monitor staying in England that had somebody work for custard company, so you should drop all this custard off and every day have whole big bowls of custard. And this one day, because you're past the food out a couple of months, had to hold this big bowl of custard we pass amongst bowls and put it all up in each one. And I saw these monks looking at me with both fear and with hope. Said, please don't put the cussard over my curry. A lot of suffering being a monk. So sometimes you do get what you do want, but you do get sort of rotten curry put on top of it. Or the other way around, anyway. Even the terrible food, which I used to have in Thailand, when the food was one day not as terrible as the day before, that was delicious. This is what we talk about, happiness, suffering in life, because it's relative to each other. That you can't have one without the other. This is what you learn from that suffering is a part of life. It's part of happiness. That happiness and suffering have to go together as a pair. But you can't get out of this with a heaven realm or any other realm of existence instance. We have to take both. The point is, once we start to accept that both happened, we get what's called mental peace. That mental peace comes from, like accepting, yeah, this is happening. Let's try and do something with it. To be at peace with it. When there's something you can't change, when you can't do anything no. That famous Buddhist saying, when it's nothing to do, then do nothing. When there's something to do, give it everything you've got. So in the case of a sickness or a problem, a difficulty, if there's something you can do, again, do something. Years ago, when I was a schoolteacher, one of my fellow school teachers, a soldier in the British Army, Second World War, fighting in Burma. He told me this story, he said, which changed his whole life. It's a good Buddhist story. He was with a small group of soldiers in the jungles, second World War. They stumbled into a whole battalion of Japanese troops. They were completely surrounded and outnumbered. He thought he was about to die. His idea was to try and fight their way through. Maybe they would die, but they could take some of the enemy with them. That was a patriotic thing to do. But his major, his commanding officer, said no. Instead, he said, let's all sit down and have a cup of tea. The British Army, they used to win many wars. So he thought his commanding officer was completely out of his mind and crazy. But orders were ordered. They had to sit down and make a cup of tea. In the time it took them to start making their tea, the scout came back and said, put your things away quickly. The enemies moved. We can escape. Which they did. Which is why he could tell me the story. He owed his life to the wisdom of that commanding officer when there was nothing to do. Sit down and have a cup of tea. What you're doing is resting, preserving your energies, not panicking. And because life is always changing, the circumstances are always altering. It means when things do change and there is something you can do, you're ready and prepared. They escaped. And he said he used that sibling not once, but many times in his life, when there's nothing to do. Sit down, have a cup of tea, do nothing. So you're keeping your energies for a time when you can be effective. So with the suffering of life, a lot of times there's nothing we can do physically, so we can rest. What that resting is is we call him Buddhism, is just having single suffering rather than double suffering. Double suffering means when there's a problem, there's a difficulty, and I don't want it. It shouldn't be this way. We're adding mental suffering to the physical suffering. The physical suffering in the world, in Buddhism, in real life, is saying we can do nothing about death happens, sickness happens, arguments happen, difference of opinion happens, stock markets go up, stock markets go down, we make fortunes and then we're broke. If you're broke, don't worry, you can always come and join me in a monastery. You always get something to eat there, even though it is all in the same bowl, all mixed together, it's better than being hungry. But because this actually happened, suffering happened, at least we can say we're not going to add mental suffering to the problem. And as far as your own experience is concerned, it's a mental suffering which is the worst part of suffering. Having cancer is not as bad as not wanting to have cancer. Actually, being divorced is not so bad as the mental turmoil which goes on in your mind at the time. The death of someone is nowhere near as bad as the suffering which goes on in the minds of those who are left behind. Some mental suffering is by far the worst. And the reason why we have that mental suffering is because I don't want this. This shouldn't happen. Why me? This is mental complaining, which comes from not understanding what suffering is teaching us is this is part of life we can accept and let go. Then we can actually appreciate the great benefits which these experiences give us in life. First of all, we know it will never last. In a say where that happiness never last. Suffering never last either. It's a very good Buddhist teaching, basic teaching. You can't really call it Buddhist. It's actually part of life. It's in the Buddhist tradition. The emperor's ring an emperor had it was a young emperor. He wasn't all that skillful. Whenever things went well in his kingdom, he would have a party in celebration, always having holidays, celebrating the happiness, prosperity in the kingdom. Because of that, he would never do enough work to keep the prosperity going. And so when the economy went down, when the enemies on the borders were threatening to invade, when the people weren't happy, he went to his room and sult. He got depressed because he was alternating between partying and being depressed. He would never really do the work of an emperor. So the ministers met together. They wanted to try and help the young man become a more effective ruler. And they came up with this very simple solution to present their monarch with a ring, a very simple gold ring. Except for what was written on the outside was these two will pass was engraved on the outside of the ring. And that emperor had to wear the ring on all occasions. I'd always keep looking at that ring. These two will pass. This too will pass. When things were going wrong in the kingdom, when it was problems, this too will pass. So he never got so depressed that he became incapable. Even though things were going wrong, he knew it would pass. It would go sooner or later. So he kept on working. He had hope. More importantly, when things were going well, the country was booming. He always remembered this too will pass. The bad times will come soon. So he worked even harder. We never took prosperity and happiness for granted. How many of us take our health, our happiness, our prosperity for granted? This too will pass. What it means is we work harder to appreciate our loved ones, to appreciate the day, to appreciate our health, to appreciate our society, our country, to keep it going. Never take it anything for granted. This two will pass. It makes the good times even happier and makes them last longer. And the bad times? This two will pass. This two will pass. Whether it's grief, disappointment, If you failed your exams, doesn't matter. This two will pass. You find something else to do. Later on, we fail all your exams. You can always become a monk or a nun. These two will pass. If you're broken up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, this too will pass. Passes, doesn't it? And if you're sick, in hospital with typhus fever, this too will pass. You know they get better or you'll die, but it will pass. What that does is stop the mental suffering which happens. Something you can do, you do something. Something you can't do, do nothing. This is being effective in life. Buddha said, the cause of the main cause of the problem of suffering is craving. The mental desire to try and change what you cannot change. Fighting when it's there's. No, we can't fight it. Just trying to fight the surrounding Japanese army. When we should really be sitting down and having a cup of tea, letting go. And when we understand this is part of suffering, we realize that the way to overcome that suffering suffering in the world, we can't do much about. We can help it. We can be compassionate. The suffering inside is when we learn how to let go when it's time to let go. When someone dies, we have to let them go. We can't keep carrying them around year after year. That's being crazy. So saying when someone says something we don't like, don't keep carrying it around us being crazy. You can learn how to let go. How many of you suffer because someone says something terrible and wrong to you? They call you a fool or an idiot. You get really angry at it. You know the Buddhist response to that story of the man who went to buy eggs in the market? This man had an afternoon off work. His wife was busy cooking dinner. She ran out of eggs. And she asked, husband, dear, you got the free afternoon. Would you mind going to the market to get me some eggs? Sure, no problem, darling. So he took the basket and went to the next spit it to where the market was for the very first time. I went into the market, and as soon as he went into this market, this big man came up to him and called him, you're the most ugliest person I've ever seen in my life, and you look stupid to me. And his husband said, what are you talking to me about? I don't even know you. Yes, you're so stupid, you don't know anybody. You're ugly. You're probably smelling stink. You've got a face like a camel. And he started abusing his husband and calling him names and swearing at him. And the husband got so upset so we're doing this to me for I don't even know you. This fellow abused him and cursed him so much that the husband got so upset, he turned around and went straight back home. As soon as he got in the door of his home, his wife said you're back early, dear. Yes. You got the eggs? No. And I don't want to go to that market ever again. Alright, darling. Try to make it sound good story. Anyway, when she got it out of him, why was upset? She said, oh, it's him. Look. That poor fellow abuses and curses and says lots of things to everybody. When he was very small, he fell on his head and he hurt himself. And his brain has never been the same. And he always does. He curses everybody. Curses me. But don't take any notice of him. He's crazy. When the husband found out that he'd been abused just by a person who was crazy, instead of feeling angry and upset, he felt a lot of compassion. Other poor thing. Must be terrible having an accident like that. Never being able to work and being disabled. So the wife said please go back to the market. Gets so big. He said no trouble. When he went back into the market, this guy came out to him again and cursed him, calling the fool and idiot. Stupid. Terrible words. Even swore at him. It doesn't matter. He's crazy. When he went up to the egg store, the man followed him and called him all sorts of names. He said to the woman behind the eggs, he said the guy is crazy. Yes, he's crazy. Said that to me sometimes, pausing hit his head when he was young and because he knew the man was crazy, he could go and buy his eggs and go go back home again. It didn't matter at all, because he was crazy. When the Buddha told that story, he said if anyone curses you or calls you a fool, remember the story of the madman in the market? Just crazy. If your husband gets angry at you, they're just crazy. If your wife your wife starts to abuse you, just crazy. That must have hit their head. What is true? Because it's not the case that when someone abuses you, curses you, calls you a name, is temporary insanity. No one in their right mind would call anyone else an idiot or a fool. How can I judge someone else? So when anyone does judge you and call you bad names, it is crazy. There were four, but they hit their head this morning. What that means is we don't carry the mental suffering. Physical suffering. Yes. We don't. And have to make a huge, big problem out of it mentally. This is where the Buddhist said craving, not wanting to be that way. I want it to be something different. It's a cause of the suffering in life where we can let go. Letting go means like flowing with life, being with things which we cannot change. So we can actually take on board the fact that death happened, sickness happens. Divorce is something we can learn from this. We can grow from this. We can become wonderful people because of this. We learn so much. These are growing pains in our life. So we don't look upon disappointment as something bad or wrong. We look upon it as opportunities to understand what this life is all about. We're using life as a textbook. We're using our experiences is as ways of learning the lessons. And that's why when you find that you know how to let go, when it's time to let go, you can be at peace. No matter what happens to you in life, it's. Because who makes these rules anyway? What life is supposed to be? The way life is supposed to be is the way life is. People have been getting sick and dying. They've been having arguments ever since time immemorial. So welcome to life. This is how life actually is physically. But it doesn't have to be this way. Mentally, we can learn to be at peace with these things. One of the biggest mental problems is not accepting thinking. This is wrong. It shouldn't be this way. We're trying to change something which we could never change. There was an old story about this man who lost his only son. And he was so upset, he would go to the cremation ground every night after work, cry his eyes out and call out for his son. Please come back. Please come back. The family allowed him to grieve for a week. But when he kept going back to that crematorium day, night after night, two weeks, three weeks, he wasn't eating, he wasn't wasn't sleeping. He was getting sick and haggard, and he couldn't do his business. But the family had to do something. They couldn't let him go on like this. The grieving was going too far. So they hired an actor about the same age as his son and told the actor what to do. That night, the actor went to that cemetery as well and was crying his eyes out. And so was the father, the son who died crying his eyes out. The two of them met together, crying together. So they asked each other, what are you crying for? The father asked the actor. I didn't know it was an actor. What are you crying for? He said, today was my birthday, and my father promised to get me whatever I wanted for my birthday. And he broke his promise. That's why I'm so sad. I'm crying. And the father lost his son and said, Look, I'm a rich man. You look so much like my son. I want you to be happy. What is it you want for your birthday? I'll get it for you. The actor sort of smiled. I said, really? Can you get me what I want for my birthday? What my own father can get me? Said, yeah, I get it for you. What is it? Said, I want the moon. Could you please give me the moon for my birthday? And the father said no, you can't give anyone the moon. So if you're crazy, you can't give anyone the moon. The actor took the opportunity what is it you want? I want my son back. He died. The actor said you call me crazy? At least you can see the moon. You can't even see your son. He's gone. And the college of the story, that was enough for the father to accept that the son was dead and could never be given back again. He went back, slept at and went back to work realizing that this is life. We meet each other for a small time now. We part to meet other people. We understand this. We can understand what life is all about and we can be at peace with life when we can understand and accept life. Life isn't that bad after all. And a lot of times it's just our attitudes which we have. That's why to finish off with one of my favorite stories about how to deal with life and death and the suffering of it a good example why is that we had the suffering to life. We don't need to. See story. When my own father died, I was only 16 at the time. I loved him very much. He's a very good man. But when he died, I never cried. Nor have I cried ever since. And I haven't been anything. The reason I didn't feel any grief was this the way I explain it to people was going back to my early life in London where I grew up. I loved music. I listened to all types of music rock bands, classical music, going to the world, albert hall into the small clubs in Soho. You see some great bands there. Whenever any band or orchestra finished their performance, along with many other people, I'd stand up, clap and shout for more. Very often, the orchestra or band will play on a little bit longer. But after a while, they had to pack up the instruments and go home. And so did I. So I walked out of that concert hall or club. In my memory, it was always cold, gloomy, dark at night and raining famous London drizzle. But even though it was cold and gloomy and dark outside, even though the concert had ended and I realized I'd probably never see that band or performer ever again I never felt sad. In fact, what I felt after a great concert was euphoria. What a marvelous performance that had been. And how fortunate I had been to have listened to it, to be there at the time. And that's exactly how I felt of my father's death. What a wonderful performance had it been. Thank you. I had gratitude for a life rather than sorrow at a death. Different way of looking at things. How wonderful it was to have known you for 16 years. 20, 30, 40 years would have been even better. I felt so happy for 16. Thank you. It's a different way of looking at life. It's the same experience. A loved person dying suddenly. The physical situation is the same. The mental response takes what for many people is all almost unbearable, suffering, grief and turns it into something very wonderful and beautiful. A celebration of a life. So all these experiences we've have are there to be learned from? They are done for our garden. And when we stop the mental suffering, the craving, and learn to be more at peace with those parts of life, we cannot change. You're never going to stop sickness in life, you're never going to stop death, you're never going to stop disappointments happening from time to time. The happiness is suffering outside there in the world. You're going to have equal proportions of that. Don't just try and get one thinking you can't get the other. They will both come side by side as your great teachers with a mental suffering and something you can do something about and you learn to accept, or you can't change. Let things be. Don't struggle, but sit down and have a cup of tea. When the enemy is surrounding at all sides, then you know how to let go of mental suffering. When there's something you can't do, that's the time to be active and effective. That's how we deal with suffering in life. Thank you for listening. So, any questions? Our complaints about the savings fork. I always say that you really get it.

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