Freedom is "to be free IN all conditions..."
It is NOT "to be free FROM any of them!"

"The Integrated Yawning and Stretching Technique" or "AuraPuri"

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What is Pain? What is Suffering?

"For me life is not at all a path of suffering. Although I do not say that I do not suffer, but I see it as an unavoidable possibility when carrying a physical body. But that is true only at a physical level, and cannot be admitted as true at every level. As well, I do not consider my personal sufferings as a solid reason to try to get rid of my physical body or - denying its possibilities - escape into a world of no-pain.
Had I myself made of my life an attempt to avoid suffering, I would consider it a very poor conclusion, as Joy, Love, Peace and Ananda are quite part of the true nature of this world as much, if not more, as suffering."

~ Winfrey (not Oprah)
Isn't it good what Winfrey is saying about pain and suffering?

I think though that it would good to carefully clarify the difference between pain* and suffering**.

What follows then is a summary of the way I define these two notions... which of course may well differ from how many people define them.

'Pain' I define as a sensorial feeling of discomfort that is strictly physical.

'Suffering' I define as the drama (emotional, mental or attitudinal illusion) that pain may get surrounded with in order to exploit a situation of physical pain in such a way as to avoid or to prevent a personal response to pain by having someone else respond to it:
  • either someone who one has made to feel responsible for one's "well being" or 
  • someone who has made him or herself to be treated as someone who is responsible for one's well-being. 
Regarding suffering:
Although I put emphasis on the manipulative and dramatizing aspects of suffering, that is not to say that this dramatization and manipulation is without valid reasons or mala fide. People who suffer have invariably been betrayed in their past by similar illusive treatments; and because part of the process of mental healing often retraces happenings and circumstances from the past, and therefore appears to go backwards in time, even in reverse order, for a period of time suffering people have no choice (as manipulation and dramatization appear to be the only tools available) but to use them to get back on the road to mental health.

Regarding pain:
I see physical pain also as something that - inadvertently or not - may happen to someone in order to enable such a person to better navigate and negotiate the world s/he lives in.
E.g.: How can a toddler learn to walk if it does not stumble into a table or knocks its head against something? 

Click here to access other articles on this site about pain and suffering.

* The Sanskrit word for 'pain' (or pressure) is pida ইস.
** Suffering: Sanskrit दुःख duḥkha;  Pāli दुक्ख dukkha.
About 'duḥkha', 'sukha' and.... 'mukha'(!)
. the Sanskrit  word 'mukha' means 'mouth' or 'face',
. the 'mu' part means 'to utter a sound',
. the 'kha' part is derived from the Aryan/Skt. root KAK or HAH, meaning 'hole', 'space', 'mouth' and even 'beak' (as in 'cackle'),
. 'su' and 'dus' are prefixes indicating according to M.W.  'good' and 'bad'.
- 'Duḥkha' could mean 'hungry', 'not pleasurable to the taste', 'unhappy', suffering.
- 'Sukha' could mean 'tasty', 'sated', happy.
- 'Mukha' is my mumbling mouth. :)

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