Surviving Dukkha

( As an empathic individual who is very much in touch with my and others emotions I needed to explore my experiences rather than riding rough shod with them through my life. This led me to the following understanding).

It is my experience that bearing pain and suffering and witnessing that of others, the assumed reality of an egoic / materialistic existence is called into question.
Occurrences such as the death of a child, the terminally ill and child orphans of war for instance implore us to question the morality of life’s seemingly nonsensical course.
The pain and bewilderment we feel drives some of us to delve deeper into our experience of life in order to make some kind of sense of the seeming reality we face on a daily basis.

Buddhists and Hindus refer to this as ‘ dukkha ‘ and it can provide us with a metaphorical whetstone with which to enquire into the reality of our experience and sharpen our spiritual insight.

Therefore from out of our deepest, darkest moments can, with understanding, develop a powerful glimpse into the true nature of reality. Allowing us to see the impermanence of all that we perceive and how our psyche seeks to deceive us into believing otherwise.

Tough Love……….? 

Equanimity can be hard for most people in life but especially more so for individuals with strongly empathic traits. The reason being is that we are so sensitive to the energies of other living and none living entities that even the smallest energetic ripple from another source can on some days be enough to unbalance us. 

Our own emotions can be so amplified at times that our effect on others ( for me anyway) can be intense. I have known occasions when I have been in an highly emotive state that I have felt like an affective nuclear reactor influencing other people’s moods and cognitions around me. 

But more often than not it is the emotions of others that can so effect our day to day lives. 

Fortunately for myself through practicing meditation and mindfulness I am usually aware of the how my mind can try and fool me and send me on fools errands in seeking happiness or avoiding discomfort. 

According to Buddhist psychology emotional attachment to the sense world results from mental and physical feelings. 

When we experience pleasure, we seek more. If we do not attain more then craving can develop. 

When we experience discomfort in situations we then we seek to avoid them causing aversion. 

When we experience neutral phenomena we tend to ignore them. 

Thus what we encounter in our day to day lives can cause disturb our emotional balance. 

I wish I had been aware of this in my youth instead of being carried away by the depths of my passions to feel the great highs and lows of existence. Even the low points had addictive properties by virtue of their ability to utterly consume me into another state of profoundly sensual reality. 

As empathic individuals living in Western society however provides us with another challenge. That being trying to exist and survive in a community that promotes greed and the consumption of material things. The media, peers, friends and acquaintances are seemingly infected by ego driven lives e.g. having the latest mobile phone, wide-screen television, fashionable clothes et al. 

It is my belief that this lifestyle is much to blame for many people’s, let alone empaths, unhappiness and feelings of isolation. 

If there is one element of truth we can learn from this, as hard as it may be, it is that it is not what happens to us that can cause the most pain. It is our response. If we have developed a deeper understanding of ourselves then this can be somewhat mitigated against.