The following is a personal note from the respected Sayadaw U Jotika to one of his followers regarding a life that has many problems.
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You are right when you said, “Life is full of problems.”
Life is full of problems.
From the time you are born, you have problems. Problems are natural. We just need to find the best ways to solve them.
There are natural problems and man made problems.
For natural problems we find natural ways to solve them.
But we are making problems. How do we solve problems that we are making?
First we must see clearly that we are making these problems.
The mind that makes problems and the mind that sees we are making problems are not the same type of mind.
- The mind that makes problems has no awareness/ mindfulness, no wisdom.
- The mind that sees that we are making problems has awareness and wisdom.
We cannot solve the problem with the same type of mind that made it.
We need a mind that is mindful and therefore wise to see the problem and solve it.
When we see that the mind is making problems – just seeing it solves most of the problems. When we don’t make problems we have only natural problems to solve. Then we will find that more than 90% of the problems are gone. Just because we are not making them anymore.
With the rest of the 10% of the problems to solve, we are not so burdened anymore. We can solve them or just live with them.
If you are carrying 100 pounds and then you drop 90 pounds, with only 10 pounds to carry now, you are not so burdened. You can carry it.
With a mind that does not create more unnecessary problems, life is not so burdensome. You can travel very light.
There are two kinds of burdens.
The burden of the body. And the burden of the defilements.
We need to keep the body healthy. So, we eat, we protect our body from excess heat or excess cold. We rest when we are tired. We sleep. When we get sick we get medical treatment. All that is burden of the body. But it has a limit.
Healthy food is not so expensive.
It is unhealthy food which is more expensive. Cigarettes are very expensive. Wine is very expensive. And many other things which we don’t need to eat or drink or use are very expensive. Clothes that keep you healthy are not so expensive.
We can stay healthy without much difficulty. With modern medical treatment it is not difficult to cure most of the diseases.
But the burden of the defilements have no limit.
Greed has no limit. We can never really satisfy greed. No matter what we do to satisfy greed it is never enough. Only wisdom can put a limit to greed.
Greed cannot solve the problem it has created. It is a mind without greed that can solve the problems greed has created.
Pride, conceit, anger, envy, jealousy all create problems.
Anger cannot solve the problems it has created. It is a mind without anger that can solve the problems anger has created.
Pride cannot solve the problems it has created. Envy, jealousy cannot solve the problems they have created.
A mind without greed, anger, pride, envy, jealousy, a mind that is mindful and wise can see the problems clearly and solve them too.
Therefore to live a good life,
to live a life which is not so burdensome; to travel light,
to live with joy, we must live mindfully.
When you are mindful you are more creative in living.
Mindful living is the best way of living.