"Pain" and "Suffering"

I wrote this on paper sometime last week, but couldn't post it... partly due to a slightly busier schedule... but mostly because of my addiction to Mahjongg Fortuna on Zylom! My Reiki teacher tried playing that game yesterday for the first time... couldn't get the head or tail out of it... eventually gave up! My sister has played the game a few times... she is not able to understand why I like it so much! My dad simply hates all computer games! But now back to my article...

The other day I really had an eye-opening experience! I had gone to my uncle's place in the town... he lives in a flat on the 7th floor of a building... and as luck (or destiny perhaps???) would have it… the lifts in that building were not working that day! So my dad & I had to take the stairs all the way to the 7th floor. Now, I'm an asthmatic, so the situation wasn't a very favorable one for me, right! Oh ok then... it wasn't really favorable for ANYone...! I mean who would want to climb 7 stories up a building by choice! But anyways, I figured since I had my SOS inhaler in my purse, we might as well go ahead with it... no point in going back home or waiting for the lifts to start working again!

All was well till I reached the 5th floor landing. And then I felt going out of breath slightly, and also a little bit of tightening/congestion in my chest. So I decided to take a puff from my inhaler, 'coz as the docs say, these little devices work best when you use them the moment you anticipate the beginning of an attack, rather than waiting till you have a full-blown attack! So I opened my purse to pull the inhaler out... and then realized, with an utter shock, that I had forgotten to carry my inhaler with me that day! First time in 12 years since I started using that thing! And I was like.... WOW! NOW WHAT!!

The moment I realized that I didn't have my inhaler in my purse, I was gripped by a sudden fear! A PANIC rather!! And I just couldn't think rationally for a moment! I mean my condition wasn't really THAT bad you know! If a perfectly healthy person were to jog for like 1 km, he would also run short of breath slightly, right! But he would be able to get his breath back by just relaxing for a few minutes and calming his body!

And that's exactly what I had to do at that time! But I didn't... 'coz I had totally lost all sense and logic! Instead of sitting down on the stairs for a few minutes to steady my breathing, I climbed the remaining 2 stories to reach my uncle's place as soon as possible! And that, combined with my mental state, worsened my situation even further!

Once inside their house however, I started giving Reiki to myself and tried to calm my mind. My dad was least bothered about it at that time! Apparently, it seems, HE had more confidence in my ability to handle this situation on my own than I had in myself! Anyways, he busied himself with his 1-year old grandson (whose birth marked the birth of this blog too btw!)... & left me to my own devices!

I kept working on my mind and body for maybe like 40 minutes or so... kept giving Reiki to myself... AND kept trying to relax my mind... and it seemed to be working too... but only for like a minute or two maybe! I simply couldn't empty my mind from thoughts of that missing inhaler for more than that much time!

Every couple of minutes, the image would flash across the screens of my mind that I don't have my inhaler with me! And once again, the fear would grip me for a minute or so... till I was able to divert my mind to other peaceful thoughts again, so that the discomfort would slowly ease again and my lungs would gradually relax again, allowing me to breathe normally again! But the moment the same scary scene flashed again in my mind, the whole cycle would just repeat itself!

I kept swinging like a pendulum between panic and poise... at times the panic states were longer, while at others the relaxed states were of longer duration! Basically, it had just turned into a matter of mind control eventually! If I was able to prevent that thought of not having my inhaler from entering my mind, my asthmatic attack would start easing out on its own... but the moment the thought entered my mind, my lungs would again become stressed! I could SEE this even as I tried to feed my mind with pleasant thoughts, but eventually I just gave up!

I told my father that I MUST get the inhaler somehow... so it was arranged that my uncle would drop it on his way in another few minutes. Finally, when I realized that the inhaler WAS on its way and that it would soon be in my hands, I WAS able to relax! I got the inhaler eventually after another 20 minutes or so, but by then I didn't really need it! My breathing had more-or-less normalized on its own by then! Oh I DID pretend to take a puff anyway… so that they didn't feel that all the inconvenience I had caused them had been totally unnecessary!

But the incident taught me a very important lesson! For the very first time in my life, I had a FIRST-HAND experience of how it all just boils down to our mind matters! I mean, the thing that had been making me miserable that day wasn't really my lung condition... but the thought that "I didn't have my inhaler"... and the fear associated with that thought! And if I had been able to master my mind over that thought, I could have been perfectly fine within minutes!

Later on, I was told that is what the "wise" people call "pain" and "suffering". You may be in pain, but you can choose not to suffer due to it, if you have enough mind control. And they also say that enlightenment is the "end of all suffering". So I guess that once a person becomes enlightened, all it really means is that he develops enough mind control to be able to choose NOT to suffer because of his pain! But it doesn't necessarily imply that he won't experience any more pain in life!

And this, I guess, probably further boils down to "Acceptance"!! As those "wise" people further say... "Accept pain without attaching any importance to it... and accept pleasure without attaching any importance to it... for both shall pass"!

Hmmmm! Well, at least I finally SAW for myself this fine line of difference between pain and suffering! I suppose it wouldn't have been possible to REALLY understand this difference without actually experiencing it! Now... the mind control... well, patience my dear Kadambari... and practice...! :-)

Note: This smile is especially meant for "Kadambari"... who, I'm sure, will forget about this lesson in the near future... getting caught up in other things... and will come back to this post one day, and read what I have "channeled" through her today on this blog. She will then smack her forehead and scold herself for having forgotten it...! Ah well... while I am at it, I might as well leave her a remark to NOT be so harsh on herself! ... "Take it easy kiddo!" [Hugs] :-)

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Want to Add Something?

amrit said...

"Accept pain without attaching any importance to it... and accept pleasure without attaching any importance to it... for both shall pass"

Loved this line.

Anonymous said...

Nice article kadambari........I dont know which kadambari I am referring to - the one who remembers that she will forget or the one who forgets to remember !!

- former Lizard Lips fan !!

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