The Cause of Suffering Did you know the Buddha, who came up with the Four Noble Truths, is often compared to a physician. Like a physician, the first Noble Truth is identifying and diagnosing the problem; what is the suffering. Then with the Second Noble Truth, their role is identifying the cause of the suffering. It is not enough to just know what the pains or challenge are of a situation, we must also understand the root cause of this suffering. Often the root of suffering is caused by our inability to let go and instead we cling to things such as an idea, a situation, a person, an emotion, or an identity. Clinging to any of these will cause greater suffering. For it is our inability to accept the changes of things, circumstances and people, which locks us into a state of dissatisfaction, frustration, overwhelm, and at times anger.  Two years ago I had the misfortune of a ski accident that tore my MCL and ACL, it would require surgery, a year of rehab and unfortunately I needed to stop my training in the dojo for almost eleven months while I relearned how to walk, run, hop and pivot.  The devastation ran deeper than my physical pains, I lost not only the joy of training but the opportunity to grade for my third degree belt that spring. Even more painful was the inability to show up in my role as a mother the way I always did, causing great losses and inconvenience for my family putting great stresses on all of us. Of course feelings of “Why me?” came up. But life happens, we fall down and sometimes we get really hurt. Indeed it stinks, it’s painful, truly it sucks - and if we are just going to sit there broken on the hill replaying the pains of that moment that knocked us down we are going to suffer. But truly, “why not me?” Where do we get this idea that we should go through life with no happenings, no pains, no disruptions. Life is going to have the ups and downs and the Four Noble Truths teaches us how to manage and be resilient in the times of pains. I am not saying we deserve to get hurt, but the disruption happens because it is trying to teach us something. There is a cause, a reason this “accident” happened and quite honestly when we don’t listen to the messages around us our fate will keep bringing the messages back to us bigger and bigger until we decide to acknowledge these root causes and make the adjustments necessary.  Karate training taught me the Japanese proverb, “Nana korobi ya oki” which is “seven falls, eight getting up.”  It’s meaning ignites one’s perseverance to keep going but it’s not just about standing back up to possibly get knocked down again. Instead it is a moment to understand why the suffering is happening, and what is causing this situation, and more importantly, acknowledging what we need to learn from this situation so we may release ourself from it and move forward.  Turns out this untimely and inconvenient disruption was exactly what I needed. I finally acknowledged the cause of my suffering was my identity. My super mom cape had to be ripped off so I could be the real mom my kids needed. I had to let go of my fears of judgment and my ego in order to stand in my power as my truest self. Freedom of suffering comes with understanding and the acknowledgment of what is causing our pains. The choice becomes ours if we will stand in our power or get knocked down again.  By Kohai Dianne Hadad 3rd Degree Black Belt, Renge Dojo Certified Professional Coach, Warrior Spirit Circle 647-203-4882 | The WARRIOR SPIRIT CIRCLE creates conversations for kids, parents and martial artists to discover their true self and embody their warrior spirit. Our mission is to share the practical wisdom from the classical martial arts virtues and philosophies to inspirit resiliency, confidence and vibrancy.