by Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda

If you are facing a problem, what is the remedy to overcome it? Instead of worry and mental agony, look for solutions, see a problem in a new perspective and count your blessings.


Whenever certain difficulties and problems arise, make up your mind to reduce your mental agony. First, you must try to understand the nature of the world where you live. You can never expect everything in this world to be perfect and to run smoothly. The world situation may not always be in your favour. There could be no world and no life without problems.


Natural forces like sunlight, rain, wind and moonlight are favourable and useful to many, yet at times, they could be a nuisance to many others. There is in fact nothing perfectly bad or perfectly good in this world because the very things that are welcomed by one group could be hated by another group. Therefore we define good and bad according to our needs.


If you have strong selfish cravings for existence and the senses, you will have to pay the price – the mental agony of having to survive with a topsy-turvy view of the world. Wishful thinking, yearnings for eternity and clinging to feelings such as ‘I’ or ‘Me’ only wrap the mind and its sense of time. Unfulfilled desires yield their crop of quarrels, friction, communication, failures, worry, loneliness and anxiety.


If you are desirous or eradicating the mental agony within you, you have to subdue selfish cravings. Life’s journey has a T-junction. Either you take the right path and develop your spirituality to unwind the tensions of worldly life or you continue to indulge in sensual pleasures with their many attendant confrontations.


One way to relieve yourself of occasional mental agony is to understand the degree of your own sufferings and difficulties compared with those experienced by others. When you are unhappy, you often feel that the world is against you. You think that everything around you is about to collapse. You feel that the end of the road is near. However, if you make a mental note of things around you and count your blessings, surprisingly, you will find that you are indeed much better off than many other people.


“I complained that I had no shoes until I met a man who has no feet”. In short, you have been unduly exaggerating your own difficulties and problems. Others are in fact  worse off, and yet they do not worry themselves unduly.


Problems are there. You should try to solve them instead of worrying and creating mental anguish within you. The Chinese have a practical saying about solving problems: “If you have a big problem, try to reduce it to a small problem. If you have a small problem, try to reduce it to no problem.” 


Another way to reduce your mental anguish is to recap what you have gone through before, under similar or worse circumstances; and how you have, through your own patience, initiative and effort been able to surmount your difficulties. By doing so, you will not permit your existing problem to drown you. On the contrary, by seeing life in a new perspective, you will be able to solve whatever problems you may now be facing. With this frame of mind, you will soon regain your self-confidence and be in a better position to solve whatever problems that may be in store for you.


Source : http://bmsm.org.my


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