Before sensing the emergence of suffering, is there something else occurring prior to it? It is our perception - the persistence of our self-centeredness, our perception towards the matter, perceiving it as harming myself, or that this matter is totally worthless, then suffering arises. We habitually see the occurrence of certain matter as the source of suffering, hence when this matter occurs, suffering will follow. Once we consider the occurrence of a matter may bring awareness to my life, a reminder or even a big present for me.
Global Lamrim 2, Lecture 0021
What real life examples do you have of transforming your mind from suffering to happiness?
Instead of trying to change the external situation, what we can do is to change our perception of that situation, and our reaction to it. OMAK is a very good example. When facing someone that frequently makes us angry, instead of trying to change that person’s behavior into one that we like, we apply the technique of OMAK. We remember that actually this person is not that bad, he has his good qualities, he has also made contributions. By viewing this person from the perspective of his good qualities, we will find that we don’t get angry with him that easily, even though his behaviour has not changed a bit. So that is a very good example of transforming our mind.
In this discourse, Teacher says that we habitually see the occurrence of a certain matter as a source of suffering, hence when this matter occurs, suffering will follow. However, once we consider the occurrence of that matter may bring awareness to my life, a reminder or even a big present for me, then that suffering may not be that big. Because we now see that, actually this situation, this matter that arise can also bring me benefits. But sometimes we still do not know how to accept this big present. If we still do not know how to accept this big present, then what can we do? We can observe and analyze the different values that this matter can bring to my life. Maybe it can allow me to notice whether I am missing anything? By going through this experience, will I be able to gain more knowledge, become more patience, and be more open-minded? So while this matter may seem worthless, if we observe and analyze, we may find there is something there that may bring along many secrets that I am unaware of, waiting for me to realize and experience.
Actually all the Buddha’s teachings is based on either changing the way we view something or making us aware that there are a lot of things that we still do not understand. These could be new things about a person, or something new in a certain situation that is waiting for me to discover.