Self-inquiry is the starting point to break the cycle of suffering. Once we see what we are doing, we can adopt new ways of understanding. When we look inside we see the cycle of suffering.
The Cycle of Suffering
Pain creates fear. Fear creates separation. Separation creates personalization. Personalization creates stories. Stories create beliefs. Beliefs create patterns. Patterns lock us into our suffering and we become attached to looking outside of ourselves for happiness. Attachment causes distraction that prevents us from immersing ourselves in a spiritual path and interrupting the cycle of suffering.
Ending the Cycle of Suffering
Compassion is wishing that everyone be happy. This lessens our self-centeredness, hatred, judgment and anger. Each thought creates according to its nature. When we wish that everyone be happy and free from suffering, we change our internal atmosphere, interrupting the cycle of suffering. The cycle of suffering is a path of selfishness and self-grasping. Compassion destroys the basis of self-grasping.
Experience and understanding form our reality. The experience and understanding of compassion allow us to move from the experience of pain, fear and separation into the understanding that God is the doer and we are the instrument. Then we can progress from practicing compassion to being compassion. When we become compassion we realize the truth that God is the doer and the instrument.