According to Buddhists we are all suffering all the time! It’s a bit pessimistic isn’t it. And furthermore it does not sound true because there are definitely times of great happiness in our life. So why would they say this?

The reason according to Buddhism is that there are many types of suffering – and even when we feel happy, this is not as happy as we could be if we were able to meditate at a blissful level. And the state of bliss is our natural state of mind. So according to the Buddhist teachings we are all suffering relatively compared to our natural state of consciousness, free from disturbing thoughts.

To be more particular, there are 3 types of suffering

  • Suffering of Suffering – which we all know about
  • Suffering of change – which is fretting over the good things in life because we are afraid they will eventually change and disappear.
  • Suffering of phenomena – The most subtle form of suffering which is the movement of the mind (sometimes manifesting as confusion or uncertainty for example) that keeps us from the state of a peaceful and blissful mind.

Its an interesting concept and below I have included a meditation on the 3 types of suffering which not only helps us contemplate this idea but also helps us bring compassion into our heart.