So I came across a series of “life questions” which spiritual counsellors here often deal with, to do with sickness, the death of loved ones and aging. These were,
Why is this happening to me, am I to blame?
How do I keep control of my life? What if that is no longer possible?
What does my illness mean to my loved ones, how can I be myself?
How do I deal with loss and lack? How do I live on with my illness?
What is the meaning or my purpose in life?
How do I deal with loneliness?
What do I mean to others?
How do I deal with spiritual suffering?
Where do I draw strength from?
How do I deal with regret? How can I forgive?
How do I feel about life after death?
It seems to me that Buddhism has something to say about these topics, and I’m still thinking about this, trying to let my Buddhist self find a place for this. I invite you to ruminate along…
Profound questions indeed! Could spend a few lifetimes contemplating them....
I find that Buddhism for me is just one potential way of examining these questions, but it’s a source of much strength. With its focus on dealing with suffering it gives purpose and inspiration, and factors like the parami teach one patience, endurance and equanimity, which makes questions like “what do I mean to others” seem less important because one is operating from a place of inner stability.
Buddhism provides a framework for belief that encourages you to focus on the important base, and not so much on unstable outer reaches. It gets you to work on understanding the heart, on your relationship with the self, on clear seeing. Often even silent retreats prepare one for alone-ness in a way that few non-meditators encounter.
In a sense the answers to all the above questions can be found in this simple question...
Who or what wants to know? Who is this 'Me' 'My' 'I' 'Myself' asking the questions ?
The more this question is probed by the psychophysical phenomenon called the self (well this sense of self), the more the answers to life's questions will become apparent to the senses and not so much to the intellect...
Well thus have "I" heard...
It is true that the very idea of life questions revolve around the the notion of self, it is the starting point for many of the questions as written.
I just came across this and was thinking of a place where to post it, and what better place to put questions about life than here...