Remembering lessons of experience

Suffering has a great value and role in life. Suffering works like a brake in a car. We need both accelerator and brake. Suffering slows us down but makes us think, mellows us down, makes us humble, grounded, simple, more human and help us assimilate lessons of experience.


But I always say : "Do you need to suffer again and again? Do you need to burn your fingers repeatedly to know that fire burns"?


Patanjali in Yoga Sutras (Sadhana Pada sutra 16) says : Heyam Dukham Anaagatam. : The future suffering is ought to be avoided. Nothing can be done with past suffering. We need to go through the present suffering. Whereas, future suffering can be and ought to be avoided.


One of the most powerful tools to do this is by remembering our lessons of experience.


If we carefully observe, we can recognize that we are repeating the same mistakes, in our relationships, with our family members, with our friends, with our colleagues and with ourselves. Can we not avoid this?


The ancient Indian wisdom says that "You need to remember lessons of experience, so that you repeat what is good and avoid that which brings suffering."


I invite you to do the following exercise. You can do it regularly for a few minutes or on a weekend.

  • Quieten your mind - Sit comfortably. Take a few minutes to practice deep breathing and centering your mind on the present moment before beginning this exercise. Diaphragmatic breathing or yogic breathing will help.

  • Contemplate on the lessons you learnt to avoid future suffering.

  • Remember these lessons everyday – Implement them. If you remember, you will be able to implement. Initially we may miss them a few times but as we start remembering them, they will come to our mind at the right time and then the chances of implementation becomes easier.


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