Pain + Resistance = Suffering


I live just outside of the Washington, DC area and started noticing last week, during August, that the weather was changing.   Instead of the hot humid days of summer there was a smell in the air.  I looked up and saw bits of leafs falling and this week noticed the colors just starting to change. I watched squirrels gather nuts and run off to store them.

Of course mentioning change is hard because as soon as I suggest it I’m met with responses that suggest fear or disgust of this.  Even though we know it is coming, I still get those who frown and say “no – I don’t want summer to end”.  Yet it will end though. I can resist it or be with what is happening.  Enjoy the here and now.

I mentioned the beautiful day to a neighbor and she responded that she heard that this winter will be “the worst one yet”.  Ok – so why all the worry about the future or holding onto the past. This is where I am glad for my practice.  Just take a long breathe and remind those responding to come back to now – right now is where we are.

At Kripalu we had a saying “Pain + Resistance = Suffering”  I can’t do much about pain but I can let go of resisting.  If I can lessen that maybe my suffering will be less too.  Just something to consider even in the small acts of responses.

This labor day may you take the moment to reflect on the positive.  It is so easy to get caught in a negative response.  It takes practice to pause and think of a kinder way to be with ourselves and then towards others.  May you feel gratitude for all you have right now.  Jai!