Top
Get every product and course I offer for 1 price!

Suffering is Unavoidable

 

In Buddhism there are lots of lists.  There’s the eightfold path, the four noble truths, the five precepts, and so on.  One list in Buddhism that I love that I think anyone can find peace from, no matter what spiritual path you walk, is known as The Buddha’s Five Daily Reflections.  These five things reflect on one of the core elements of Buddhism – suffering.

A lot of people don’t really understand what suffering means in the Buddhist tradition.  Buddhism is not a religion of suffering but of learning how to accept and deal with the inevitable human condition of suffering.  One of the Four Noble Truths, actually the first one, is Life means suffering.  When you see the Five Daily Reflections you’ll understand why it is that we all endure suffering, why it can’t be avoided, and why it becomes part of our spiritual mission, part of our life’s journey, to learn to accept and navigate them. 

 

The Buddha’s Five Daily Reflections

buddha

 

1. I am subject to aging.  Aging is unavoidable.

We all get old, we all go through an aging process.  Our bodies – the natural, organic material that our physical bodies are made of – eventually breakdown.  Some people get depressed about this do anything and everything possible to slow or stop the aging process.  It doesn’t matter how much surgery you undergo or how many anti-aging products or processes you use, you’re going to get old.  Rather than looking at this as something to worry about or fear, we need to put our focus on the time we do have and ask ourselves what we can do to better our soul’s and the lives of those people we touch while we’re here in this lifetime.

 

2. I am subject to illness.  Illness is unavoidable.

No matter how healthy we try to live, how well we eat, how much exercises do, or what steps we take to keep ourselves healthy we are all due to get sick from time to time.  This doesn’t have to mean that we’re all going to have cancer or other life-threatening diseases, but we all get colds and stomach aches.  Even these simple illnesses slow us down and sap some of our energy. Instead of getting sad or depressed when we experience any form of illness we need to look at it and know that it’s temporary, just as our body is temporary, and illnesses will come and go as part of our human experience.

 

3. I am subject to death.  Death is unavoidable.

Just like our bodies will breakdown and illnesses will come and go, the end will eventually come too.   Just like we will die, so too will our friends, parents, loved ones, even our pets.  Everything that lives dies, but it will all be reborn again in spirit, and depending on your belief system, it will all return again.  The thing about death is that, since we know it’s inevitable and we know it is inevitable for all of us, we do not need to be steeped in mourning and grief for long periods of time.  We take the time to mourn and reflect but then it’s time to move forward in love and remembrance.

 

4. I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me.

As we go through life and learning new things, have new experiences, and discover new layers to our personalities, we evolve and change.  Things that we loved at one point in our lives may eventually not fit anymore.  Think back to when you were 5 and you had a favorite toy, like a doll for example.  Do you still have it?  Even if you do  {I still have a few things from when I was little} how big of a roll does it play in your life now compared to then?  Did you have things you once liked to go out and do, like going to clubs or bars with friends, and now that you’re older you don’t do it as often, or maybe not at all because you have other things you like to put your time and energy into.   This is nothing to be concerned about; it’s a sign of your personal and spiritual evolution.

 

5.  I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.

This is a simple reflection that most of us probably already look to and reflect on to some degree in our lives.  All that we do, by action and deed, impact us and everyone we encounter.  What we do in the world reflects on who we are as a person, attracts to us our life experiences, and determines how other people will perceive and treat us.  Our actions are our karma and doing right by our actions and living authentically and impeccably is most important.  This is what determines our legacy once we are gone.

 

All of these things create some point of suffering in our minds, but they are all things we’ll experience in our lives.  When we learn to accept them, see them in a different light, we’re able to live more at peace with ourselves and those around us.  When we know we will suffer through these things we know others will as well, which makes it easier for us to live with compassion towards others.

 

The practice of reflecting on these five points is something that can be done once a day in meditation or a few times a day.  I have them taped to my desk so I see them every day and I’m always reminding myself of the importance of living authentically and accepting that this life is just a stepping stone on the soul’s journey.

Below is a printable poster I’ve made of the Five Reflections that you can download, print, and hang up somewhere that you’ll see it every day to help you connect to these principles and shift your views on your time here in this life and help to push you toward living life to the fullest.

 

 

Buddha Reflections posterpic

Download Now


Comments

  1. Sue | London Life Coach says

    Makes a lot of sense. Life is complicated that’s why you should expected suffering on the way.. It will all matter on how you deal it. It’s a choice. The challenge in life is how to make the right choices to get through the suffering.

  2. Anji says

    These are all some of the greatest fears any of us have daily, also. I love that you posted this, as it lays it all out. Seeing it all there leads to the realization that, hey, I’m afraid of these things. Facing fears is the first step to overcoming them. Fear keeps me from doing so many things (including replying to things on blogs and facebook), and these help me to ask myself what exactly it is that I’m afraid of. It’s not talking (even though it seems that way). It’s living with the consequences of expressing myself, letting other people know a little more about who I am. Because I do not speak, I also have consequences. That, to me, is why 4 and 5 resonate the most on a daily basis. I am the result of my own choices, and I have changed. But, I refuse to express this change outwardly to those that mean the most to me or, really, almost anyone at all. Thanks for posting! I have shared the link with some of my friends.

  3. Robin says

    This is really beautiful and something one should reflect on every day. It is truly in our power to change how we walk through our lives.

  4. BittenUsagi says

    Love the poster & definitely going to make use of it, thank you! Now off to share this with some friends & family that may need these reminders, too.

Client Love

OMG I'm blown away by the accuracy of the reading. Jess has a special gift. What she revealed to me, opened me up to a place I knew I should be at but was holding myself back from.

Masha

Jess Carlson
5
2019-11-11T23:10:42-08:00

Masha

OMG I'm blown away by the accuracy of the reading. Jess has a special gift. What she revealed to me, opened me up to a place I knew I should be at but was holding myself back from.
I was so overwhelmed trying to get back into my witchcraft practice, but Jess helped me create an actual plan and a schedule for doing the work. The results in just two months has been far beyond my expectations. I'm in touch with my power like never before!

Sara

Jess Carlson
5
2019-11-11T23:14:38-08:00

Sara

I was so overwhelmed trying to get back into my witchcraft practice, but Jess helped me create an actual plan and a schedule for doing the work. The results in just two months has been far beyond my expectations. I'm in touch with my power like never before!
Jess is a great teacher, as well as an insightful reading and a wonderful healer. Her lessons are informative and easy to understand. Her cards speak to her in a way that I hope mine will to me one day. I have also had a Chakra session and a Reiki session with her and afterward I felt at peace, balanced, and whole again (I was quite sick at the time). I trust very few people, and I follow my path alone, but I trust Jess. She’s a beautiful spirit.

Bev

Jess Carlson
5
2019-05-09T10:56:45-07:00

Bev

Jess is a great teacher, as well as an insightful reading and a wonderful healer. Her lessons are informative and easy to understand. Her cards speak to her in a way that I hope mine will to me one day. I have also had a Chakra session and a Reiki session with her and afterward I felt at peace, balanced, and whole again (I was quite sick at the time). I trust very few people, and I follow my path alone, but I trust Jess. She’s a beautiful spirit.
When I started coaching with Jess I thought I was coming to her for help with a breakup and an unexpected and sudden international move. It turned out that wasn't the real issue at all! Jess asked questions I never would have thought to ask myself and gave me a whole new perspective on what was going on in my life. She made me feel like what I want matters. By the time we were done I felt like I could take on the world!

Patricia

Jess Carlson
5
2019-05-09T10:56:03-07:00

Patricia

When I started coaching with Jess I thought I was coming to her for help with a breakup and an unexpected and sudden international move. It turned out that wasn't the real issue at all! Jess asked questions I never would have thought to ask myself and gave me a whole new perspective on what was going on in my life. She made me feel like what I want matters. By the time we were done I felt like I could take on the world!
Incredible, intuitive, thoughtful, and professional reader! Will definitely book with Jess again.

Cadey

Jess Carlson
5
2019-11-11T23:09:41-08:00

Cadey

Incredible, intuitive, thoughtful, and professional reader! Will definitely book with Jess again.
5
5
Jess Carlson