dimeo wrote: Isn't it naive to say "it's all in your head".
Actually, no it isn't.
But Buddhist teaching doesn't say that you are simply imagining suffering, or that you are not really
suffering, that it is just a figment of your imagination. That isn't what the Buddha said at all.
The Buddha said that all beings experience suffering (dukkha)
which includes everything from the pain of war to feeling unhappy with life or whatever.
It is a very real, all pervading experience.
In fact, constant dissatisfaction is one of the primary defining characteristics
of what Buddhism refers to as the Human Realm.
Even when we have all that we want, it can be "too much of a good thing'
and we be come dissatisfied.
So, yes, the experience of millions of people suffering in a war is terrible.
But even when millions of people are living in relative calm and safety,
they are still dissatisfied. They still get angry, they still fight with each other.
The point is, if you look for where your suffering is,
and you look outside of your own mind,
you cannot find it.
True, the suffering you experience is often prompted by external conditions.
Quite often, those conditions are so overwhelming, and produce such unbearable pain to the mind,
that it becomes impossible to ignore them.
That is still the activity of the mind.
So, that is why Buddhist practice, meditation and so on, is about working with one's own mind.
There is a famous teaching, that you can't cover the whole world with leather and make it smooth
but if you cover the bottoms of your own feet,
the result is the same.
The causes of unhappiness can come from anywhere
but the causes of happiness can only come from within your own mind.
Recently, I was talking to a friend who doesn't always have time to eat lunch at work. She said that when she feels hungry, it is painful. Her stomach actually hurts. This was new to me. Even when I am very hungry, it doesn't register as pain
with me. So, even the thing itself may be experienced differently for different people.