Amy Winehouse and the Origins/Art of Suffering

It is human nature to pull away from suffering. To hide it, to mask it, to treat it with painkillers and escapism.

It is human nature to amplify and identify ourselves as—and with—suffering. Who would I be without these problems that define me? If I let them go, what will be left?

The Buddha says life is suffering.

Sideshow Bob in the Simpsons says the Buddha says desire is the root of all suffering.

Eckhart Tolle says wanting suffering to end causes more suffering. That acceptance is the answer.

Tyler Durden in “Fight Club” seems to be saying suffering is real living. Through physical tests and pain, you find out who you really are.

Shakespeare says it’s not about right or wrong, happiness or suffering. It’s about how we view it.

The Mind. The Brain. Now there’s a troublemaker.

Is my mind the captain of the ship or just a kick-ass tool to be used when I need it? Who is in control here? And if my mind could be in control, who is it in control of?

In the beginning of my yoga life, I seemed to do more yoga when my mind was suffering the most or causing the most suffering to my/self.

I used to say, “I’m nothing but a foxhole yogi.”

It’s one of the many reasons I became a yoga teacher. I wanted to keep yoga in my life on a consistent basis, regardless of my mental temperament of the moment. Plus… doing yoga regularly kept me from the extremes of mental chatter.

If we can choose between suffering and happiness, we are in a strong place. I think if you can choose between the two, it probably doesn’t matter that much which one you choose. Being able to make the choice is really powerful. But you’ll likely choose up rather than down.

I’ve suffered and I’ve not suffered. I am working towards being able to choose rather than having it decided for me by my mind.

The mind probably will always default to suffering because it ‘s more exciting for the brain, giving it something to do. Sitting around smiling is boring for the mind.

Whatever it is, bring it on. Let’s see what we got. Light, dark, whatever. When I can, I’ll choose light. Whatever it is, do it with the skill of a master.

The most recent person I’ve become aware of that has mastered suffering is Amy Winehouse. It’s almost beautiful.

Tonight at the Gower Lofts, we will listen to Amy’s music in yoga class.

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1 Comment

  1. Nancy said,

    April 26, 2010 at 5:34 am

    More please.


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