Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. Loss is unavoidable; grief isn’t. Death is certain. And life? Well, life isn’t certain. Its uncertainty, unpredictability, even its irrationality, make it what it is.Often, we run blindly into fire, we step on snakes, we get entangled in snares — these are the fires of desire, the snakes of attachment, and the snares of jealousy and covetousness. If we are bitten, burnt and hurt, we call it suffering, and believe it to be the way of life, when, in fact, we are mistaking our pain for our suffering. We have little control over the former but the latter is almost entirely in our hands. We can take things in our stride or be tossed on the tide. All it takes is to be able to open our eyes. This choice, we must remember, is ours; always.Om Swami’s new book marks the way to enlightenment through mindful thinking.