120: Sukha/Dukha

sufferingApparently if you are to build a chariot wheel and you get the hole where the spokes join precisely centred, your wheel will work just fine and your ride will be smooth and painless. However if there is one or two of those spokes off centre you  are in for a bit of a bumpy rid, a lot more painful in the butt.

 In yoga the analogy of having your spokes off centre is referred to as sukha. Here is the list of ways you can suffer according to the seers of old. Birth, death, aging, sickness, not getting what you want and getting what you don’t want. Sukha literally means bad space, it’s opposite duhka, is good space.

Not getting what you want is indeed one of the times in my life when I feel that every spoke in my chariot has been tampered with. I’m the youngest child so it seems quite natural to me that not getting what  I want can cause tidal waves of suffering. Not getting what I want feels unfair to me and it can cause me to question the integrity of whatever chariot I happen to be romping in at the time. Not getting what I want makes me scream, life is unfair, why can’t the world be just the way I demand?

When I look back on my life though, the biggest things I didn’t get and the most dramatic underpinnings of my desires turned out to be the biggest blessings in disguise. I remember after auditioning to be a group fitness teacher I was told not only no, but don’t come back. Oh the tears! Oh the wailing. Little did I know the universe was preparing another wheel for my chariot and that was to go out and teach yoga. Steve Jobs puts it nicely when he says, ‘you can’t join the dots looking forward’.

Suffering is a choice. We can see current our situations as vehicle for our own self imposed despair or we can view it as a blessing in disguise, maybe a lesson that we need to learn before we go to the next stage of our evolution.

You don’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just might find, you get what you need…….

Practice for today: If you look back on your life can you see that when you didn’t get what you wanted was it for the better? Today if you don’t quite get what you want view it as a gift that will be later unwrapped and your ride will be a whole lot smoother. Remember, suffering is optional. Buddha

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