When I awoke this morning, I had this notion of suffering and burden in my consciousness. It seems to me that there is a lot of suffering and that many give off a very burdened vibe, they are weighed down by their life and their attitudes. People are generally heavy, not light and breezy. I typed “burdened” into a search engine and it pointed at this:
Matthew 11:28-30 King James Version (KJV)
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
When I first came upon Buddhist teachings the hardest thing to get my head around was this notion of suffering and it was only when I came upon suffering re-framed as dissatisfaction that I saw the truth of it. In addition to suffering because of ill-health, poverty and war, there is a whole lot of suffering which is “mind” generated. But most, like me, might be unwilling to frame it as suffering because it is “normal”. When I accepted the truth of suffering, a whole lot fell into place.
There is a great deal of dissatisfaction which is a milder statement than suffering but falls under the same umbrella. People are burdened with much, they are burdened with their emotions, their desires and their ambitions. They are burdened with expectations which do not fit reality. They are burdened with many unresolved things, there may be guilt, shame and a mass of things unrequited. And they are burdened with worry, lots of it. And there is a great mass of anger and resentment, which simmers away like lava in a volcano. Fear and anger are the dominant emotions on our planet. Many are burdened with fear and anxiety.
A glance at a tabloid newspaper will show how people cling on to the memories of dead people and let these dominate their lives. That theme of getting even and payback, can be found readily. And this kind of hard done by story, proliferates.
When we are burdened we might go to a priest for confession or a psychotherapist for counselling. These valves ease a little of the pressure though they may not get to the cause. The first step is to figure out what burdens you, to put a name to it and then figure out why it bugs you so very much.
Having cued this up and as an exercise:
What am I burdened with?
What am I dissatisfied with?
Make a list of all these things, all that stuff. Put a name to each of these.