“les petites misères” . . . “THE LITTLE MISERIES”
It is the “little miseries” that sap our energy and drag us into emotional disturbance. . . the package delayed in the mail . . . the unkind comment someone makes about your physical appearance . . . the argument with a relative . . . the misplaced keys. These are the “little miseries,” but these conditions are not the source of your turmoil.
Stuff happens! That’s what Thich Nhat Hanh refers to as being hit by an arrow. It hurts. We suffer! Each time you think about the arrow and talk about the disturbance it’s as if you are piercing yourself again and again.
We have read many spiritual books over the past 10 years, individually and as a group. These books have taught us that ALL emotional disturbance begins in our individual consciousness.
“Get back inside yourself, and there resolve all appearances.”
– Joel Goldsmith
It is not uncommon to hear people using the expression “. . . with ease and grace.” We want our lives to flow like that, free from stress and strain. Are you putting more attention on trying to control your outer conditions than on creating inner ease?
SUMMARY CHAPTER 4 – “EASE”
Have you ever thought about writing your own eulogy or planning your own funeral/memorial service? We shared our ideas about ‘death’ and how we would like to exit.
- “Part of the art of suffering well is learning not to magnify our pain by getting carried away in fear, anger, and despair.”
- “Everything is impermanent. . . You can simply be present with the real suffering.”
- “Happiness is possible immediately.”
- “One basic problem that causes us to suffer is the idea that we are a separate self. This gives rise to complexes of inferiority, superiority, and equality.”
QUESTION TO PONDER
Why is the conversation between Mara and the Buddha significant? What was your personal take-away?
We viewed a portion of the movie “Time of the Sixth Sun“: