Why Save Ourselves And Others From Suffering?

q&a suffering

Student: Why do we try to save ourselves and others from suffering?

Jason: Thank you for your question. This first thing that came up for me is why did you start practicing meditation?

Student: I first started practicing because many questions about life and death that came to me.

Jason: That is very interesting. Why do you think those questions appeared? What is it you are seeking?

Student: There is a seeking for a complete understanding of the universe and my experience of life. I can remember that it first appeared after some intense past experiences of mine.

Jason: Ahhh. So some kind of difficulty appeared, and you wanted to understand. This is “saving ourselves”. Everybody experiences some difficultly that raise big questions. Intuitively, we know something is not quite right. Our intuition is always knocking on the door, “hey, what is happening here? Why is there so much pain and sorrow? Why I am here? What am I?” Our tendency is to seek outside of ourselves, which has only one result: dissatisfaction. This leads us to some kind of practice, which turns the focus inward to investigate ourselves. When we can see our suffering clearly, we also see that everyone is also experiencing it. Just as you took action when your questions appeared, we take action to help others. So it is really not about “why do we try to save ourselves and others from suffering”, it is already inside all of us. The question is, do we look at it closely with openness and sincerity, or do we ignore it and keep cycling around in dissatisfaction?

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