Lessons from Water

Water knows no fear, anticipation, or surprise. Remaining calm, clear, and true, It suffers not the future And reflects beauty in tranquility. Water neither seeks nor resists conflict. Flowing with simplicity and efficiency, It suffers not the present And reflects beauty in turbulence. Water dwells not on drama or regret. Resuming the original condition, It suffers not the past And reflects beauty in equilibrium. Water […]

Guilt and Worry as Alarms

It was a client who first shared with me the idea that guilt is not meant to be carried around as a burden. Rather, it is more like an alarm. I liked this idea, and I have used it ever since. Recently, it occurred to me that worry is much the same. Both are like smoke detectors, warning us of a potential problem or threat. […]

A Formula for Suffering (Part 3)

This three-part series uses mathematics, specifically algebra, as a metaphor for exploring and illustrating the relationships between the aspects of human experience that relate to suffering. In Part 2, we consolidated our previous equations into a single formula, which I dubbed the Unified Theory of Human Suffering: (14) Suffering = (Feeling x Control / Trust) + (Stress / Coping) This formula says that, if we […]

A Formula for Suffering (Part 2)

In Part 1, we concluded that, while feelings (i.e. emotions and sensations) are a constant in life, suffering can be reduced by letting go of control. However, control also serves as a coping mechanism for handling stress, so reduced control means reduced coping, which can add to suffering. Here are the formulas we used to represent these lines of thought: (10) Suffering = Feeling x […]