Suffering arises when our bodies and minds do not expect what happens next. Expectation has two components – flexibility, and preparation. Flexibility is the ability to change in harmony with change. Preparation is the ability to have awareness, and to arrive at an adaptive, balanced response. If we can have flexibility and preparation, then we can endure many things without suffering.
Water, for instance, has flexibility. Run it through your fingers, and you will see how, at a moment’s notice, it can flow around you and find the best equilibrium under gravity. If we can be like water, it means that we can flow around obstacles without creating destructive resistance. We are like water when we can accept obstructions without it affecting our peace.
A mindful person has preparation. Put a mindful person through a change in circumstances, and they will observe that change, and then arrive at an appropriate response. If we can be like a mindful person, it means that we can have changes imposed upon us, and we will have sufficient awareness to rise above an instinctive reaction, and offer a balanced response with awareness.
COMPASSION AND WISDOM
Compassion makes us flexible, and wisdom makes us prepared.
A person with great compassion is very flexible. Think of a mother who would do anything for her child. She will flow like water around her child’s needs, not obstructing them, but flexing herself to meet them.
A person with great wisdom is well prepared. Think of a person who is constantly bombarded by competing interests. They will be able to weigh up all the competing interests, and their interactions, and find a way through that offers the best balance.
Today I will be ready for anything.
I will be like water, and flow through all events with kindness and adaptability.
I will also be mindfully wise. When there are competing interests, I will weigh them up and find a balance.
Today, nothing will disturb my peace. There is always a way to flow, and there is always a way to balance. In every situation, I will seek those ways.