Within the Buddhist tradition there are three principles to existence.
All existence is experienced as ‘suffering’, ‘anguish’, ‘pain’, getting old, disease, death, loneliness, frustration, boredom, fear, embarrassment, disappointment, anger leading to ‘un-satisfactoriness’ in life. Our lives are a struggle, and we do not find ultimate happiness or satisfaction in anything we experience. This is the problem of existence.
There is a cause to Suffering.
The cause of suffering is ‘craving’ and our need to control things. The natural human tendency is to blame our difficulties on things ‘outside’ ourselves. We endeavour to avoid unpleasant sensations and feelings. But the actual root to our suffering is to be found ‘within’ ourselves, in the mind itself. In particular our tendency to grasp at things (or alternatively to push them away) which places us fundamentally at odds with the way life really is.
There is an end to Suffering.
The cessation of suffering comes with the cessation of craving. As we are the ultimate cause of our difficulties, we are also the solution. We cannot change the things that happen to us, but we can ‘change our thinking’ and subsequently our responses. As we let go of the craving we learn to live each day at a time. When we stop dwelling on the past or an imagined future we can become happy and free.
Counselling can help on this journey!