Pain is unavoidable, suffering is optional. ~Haruki Murakami.
Eastern wisdom advocates that human life is like everything else in the universe.It cycles between pleasant and unpleasant sensations. Instead of reacting to pain with aversion or, pleasure with craving, the gurus tell us to stay equanimous. Sit back and observe.
Look back to your day so far. Was everything perfect? Surely not? Your boss proved once again, how incompetent and deluded he is. Every word coming out his insecure little mouth penetrates right in and scratches your soul. Only hours later, there you are… munching Pretzels and watching “Wall-E” on your Apple Thunderbolt display. Bliss! You’ve peeked.
In theory, we’ve always been and will continue to be locked into such cycles. Humanity is part of the universe in that it adheres to Karma. How do we stay equanimous then? Do we need to spend years on silent retreats, away from iPad and social media? The absolutist answer would be yes.
However there is one quite straightforward and obvious way to hack this cycle. Assuming we are destined to go through pain as part of Karma, then what if we were able to hand pick the type of pain? What if we deliberately pushed ourselves into hard situations of our own choosing. No need to walk barefoot on burning coal or, lie on a bed of nails mind you.
Each time we push ourselves, our body resists. It is this aversion that keeps us from exercising, starting a blog, cleaning or, waking up early. Running around Hyde Park without a break, even when I’ve run out of breath certainly sucks. Drenched in sweat, making pathetic loud panting noises with every piece of my body protesting against what I impose on it! Relentless, unstoppable, it hurts and it burns. And the more I push the more it stings.
It’s an eternity. Yet sixty minutes later I’m done. I’ve exhausted the pain quota of my day. Anything I engage afterwards can only be better than that gruelling experience!
I hacked Karma to my benefit. Nothing can touch me now. I go home, and undress. Light candles, put Coldplay on and get under the steam of my shower.
Life could be worse.
Creatively maladjusted author and blogger, Jivamukti yogi, ethical diet advocate and corporate drone, Max Zografos loiters internet cafes, libraries (anywhere with a roof and Wi-Fi really) for hours on end until he finds inspiration to write or gets kicked out, whichever comes first. You can find him on www.maxzografos.com.