Just thought I'd start a discussion on how important meditation and centering is. How it can transform your life so that you can manage your sufference better. How addiction to desire can be brought back to a more sustainable and comfortable balance. To start the discussion I have posted the following sub-story that I wrote for a book I am currently working on. Any comments and additional discussions would be welcome. Discussions on the nature of Suffering . “Father”, he asked in his little 12 year old voice, ”Why is there suffering?” They were walking along a stretch of sand, that was desolate and far from anyone and anything. The surf was rolling in and a light breeze was stirring his hair and cooling his face. The day was hot and few clouds were in the sky. His Father looked at his son and ventured – “Many years ago, Jol, I too asked my father this question along a similar beach on a similar day”. Jol always found his father’s approach to philosophy very appealing for he never told his answer but suggested it. “If we look at this beach and we see just the sand, it is barren of colour except for the sand. Let us call this sand Moo or zero.” He leaned down and picked up some sea weed and threw it onto the sand in front of them. “Now we see pleasure, a little piece of sea weed to contrast with the austerity of the sand”, he then picked up some more seaweed and threw it on to the sand in front of us. “Now we have more pleasure but as we add the sea weed the contrast reduces, becomes less. The pleasure means less than it did before” He searched a little and found some shells which he added to the seaweed. “Now we have found a new pleasure that is contrasted against the old pleasure and the austerity of the sand.” “Jol, “ he paused, “What do you think will happen if we keep adding new and newer pleasures to the sand?” Jol pondered a little, he couldn’t see where this was leading to but he knew the answer was not far away, because he knew his Dad. “Father”, Jol started, ”if we keep adding to the pile eventually the pleasure becomes pain” “Yes, Jol, well done and what is the solution to the suffering that the pleasure has caused?” Jol paused just for a moment before he reached down and quickly swept away the objects on the sand, clearing the sand of sea shells and sea weed and returning the sand to austerity it was to begin with. “Well done Jol,” his father complimented, “and why did you do that?” “Because if one returns to zero or moo one can start again thus removing the suffering that the pleasure has caused. “That over indulgence with out returning to moo causes the suffering.” “So”, His father continued. “Can suffering be avoided?” Obviously the answer was no because with out suffering there is no pleasure and life would cease to have value. “So, Jol, to be happy and keep suffering in perspective one must be able to clear the beach of pleasure and that is where meditation, serenity and peace can be found.” Synopsis: I guess the story is about how to find a point of peace in a sea of polarised extremes. The austere sand is symbolic of the center within these extremes. If one is unable to return to center [moo] one simply will go from one extreme to the other and suffering the consequences of doing so. Being lost in those extremes with out any point of reference to guide you. By centering in Moo one has an anchour to compare with thus an ability to manage your suffering is within your grasp. The story is mostly directed to a western audience and to those that lead hectic and and moo- less existences for ever chasing another pleasure to replace the previous pleasure. Thus never really knowing true pleasure and only the pain and anguish of addiction. It is a story to emphasise the value of meditation as an exercise in finding that center from which to live from. The reason is that most people do not understand the value of centering and meditation in a way that is clear and makes sense. If you or any one else agrees with it's premise maybe you could enlighten me as to how this message could be better demonstrated?