When do Americans love to suffer?

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A student once asked Tulku Urgyen Rimpoche what was interesting about Americans. He replied, “The people in America love to suffer before the suffering comes.”

According to the Institute for Health and Human Potential, 40% of our thoughts are about the future, 12% are thoughts of doubt and 10% are worries about our health. The amygdala in the brain is always scanning for potential threats. It’s just trying to keep us safe. But the unfortunate result is that we anticipate future suffering. We ‘suffer before the suffering’.

Are you suffering, really suffering right now? If so, it’s something to welcome in.

If you feel bad but nothing bad is actually happening, it may just be anticipatory suffering. That’s not necessary or helpful. It may be more helpful to notice what’s actually happening right now. And wait to experience the inevitable future suffering only once it has actually arrived.

(Thanks to Joseph Jastrab for passing along the quote)

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