7 Ways to Practice Non Suffering as Taught by Motorcycles
Everyone experiences pain. It’s part of our human experience and a that supports personal growth. While feeling hurt is a natural response to a wound, choosing to suffer is entirely different. A motorcycle doesn’t dwell on the story about its pain. You fix it and move on.
Painful things happen. But when you believe the stories and become your character, you lose sight of who you are. The characters we take on will suck the life force out of you, if you let them. Allowing images of people who have wronged you, or who you’ve wronged, to control your actions, rationalizing your behavior by stories of how you were mistreated or struggling with memories of difficult times, mires you down in needless suffering.
Conducting your life according to what is expected, proper or appropriate rather than following your heart’s desire, keeps you from exploring and expressing who you really are.
In The Four Insights, Dr. Alberto Villoldo draws from indigenous cultures to identify the practices that allow us to change our perception of the events that happen to us, remove the association with cause and effect and learn to live in harmony with our world. One of these is learning the practice of non suffering.
7 Ways to Practice Non Suffering
Change your perspective. On a motorcycle, you can swap in a new computer chip. It’s a little more complicated in life. Programming begins at conception with growing influence during malleable formative years. Parents, culture, environment and teachers all shape your perception of who you are. This doesn’t mean it’s real or true, yet we grow up believing it to be so. Take a hard look at the beliefs that have shaped you and question their validity. Undoubtedly there will be false ideas to replace with the deeper truth.
Lighten up. Lightweight parts help the engine perform better as it takes less energy to drive moving parts. Carrying excessive emotional and spiritual weight diverts energy and reduces your available power.
Increase the flow of positive thoughts. Making it difficult for air to enter a motorcycle engine robs power from the engine. While defense mechanisms protect you from perceived harm or hurt, they also keep you from being receptive to other ways of thinking – ways that might just open up a whole new world of possibility for you.
Get rid of toxic thoughts. If exhaust can’t get out of a cylinder because the exhaust pipe is too small or the muffler has too much resistance, it robs the engine of power. Keeping things bottled up inside has the same effect on your spirit and potentially your health. Allow whom you are to shine. Express yourself freely, openly and proudly.
Be kind to yourself. Do one thing at a time. When you’re making changes, it’s important to know what’s working, how it’s interacting with what’s already there, and what still needs tweaking. Making one change at a time helps keep things straight.
Seek out healthy company. Assuming a victim mentality can get you lots of attention and sympathy–for a while. But it’s disempowering and feeds off itself. Reach out to those who offer support by creating an environment where you can express your own power and restore your strength. Although it feels like you’re alone, rest assured there are others whose experiences you can benefit from. And vice versa.
Make it YOU. It’s possible to make so many alterations on a bike that the original is barely recognizable. Whatever changes you make to your life, never lose sight of who you are. Modifications can enhance, bring out your strengths and increase your expression of power. You have a unique gift to share with the world.
Begin practicing non suffering. Giving energy to wounds only diverts it from being used to move forward. Just as a motorcycle wants to carry you forward rather than sitting in a garage, rusting out from painful memories, so too your spirit wants to move you ahead on your life’s Road.
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