People often read about my story of hardship in my early years. And conclude that suffering is a prerequisite for awakening.
But it truly has nothing to do with circumstances. It has everything to do with the depth of existential anguish that comes when you’ve truly had enough of the torture of your own mind and you simply can’t stand yourself any longer.
The door to liberation opens when you’re sick and tired of being a victim of your thoughts and feelings, when you’re repulsed all the way to your core by your beliefs in being small and powerless and unworthy, and when you’re willing to give up every crutch that upholds these beliefs. Even if it means the “you” that you think you are is extinguished.
When you’re willing to meet the possibility of non-existence, then you will give your life to what is true.
Of course, horrible circumstances can intensify or solidify existential anguish and self-unworthiness. Personal trauma can create a cascade of negative thinking and distressing emotions. But so can being cushioned by all the riches of the world. Suffering is of the mind, it does not matter in the end if the body is comfortable or in pain.
Suffering is an existential issue .. and when you get to the root of it – by sitting inside the black hole of existential emptiness – you may well discover that resistance is futile. And the end of resistance is the beginning of grace.
– Amoda Maa