There was a young man exposed to diseases that require his small intestine cut along one meter. After surgery, his disease had not lost. The operation was conducted just throw the gut that is damaged. During the process of healing from surgery, he had to fast for ten days. No eating and no drinking. He got his body fluids from an IV only. After that then he could accept the drink and after a few days later began to eat liquid food.
During fasting after the operation, while still lying in the hospital, his wife called me and told me about her husband’s condition. Through his wife I suggested that the young man developed a mind full of love.
After being released from the hospital, the young man came to see me. He said that while lying in the hospital – as he felt great pain and feel sad because the doctor could not cure the disease – it is difficult for him to develop a compassionate mind. He said, “I myself was in need of help. My situation is very bad. How could I be able to develop thoughts of love? Is not myself who was in pity?”
I said, “Since you start thinking about yourself, since you start demanding, then that’s when you start to feel miserable. Instead, since you start thinking about other people, expect other people happy, it’s when you start to feel happy. By developing a loving mind, I hope your pain can be relieved.”
Young people while still dating, they were very concerned about their partner’s happiness. They try to make their partner happy. Because they want to make their partner be happy, they were filled with feelings of happiness too. But after marriage, they usually put a lot of hope from partner. They ask their partner for this and that, demanding their partner to be like this and like that. When they start thinking about themselves and start demanding, that’s when pain started to come.
Suffering comes when we demand of others for our happiness. Instead, happiness comes just when we want other people happy.
Source: “Bersahabat dengan Kehidupan” by Ven. Sri Pannyavaro Mahathera