Suffering is an opportunity. We usually see suffering as an obstacle to life - and it is most certainly that! - but it is also an opportunity. How so? You see, suffering is a turn inward, a withdrawal from the world. Such an inward turn is a rare shift from extra-spection (looking at the world) to intro-spection (looking at oneself).Keith Dowman, in The Flight of Garuda: the Dzogchen Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, writes: "Suffering provides the essential motivation for renunciation and meditation practice." Indeed, suffering is a serendipitous opportunity for mindfulness - it's an encounter with oneself. To be precise, suffering is an encounter with one's Self and Non-Self - with the Ever-Changing and the Changeless. In suffering, we focus on pain, on angst, on depression - i.e. on our experience, on that which is ever fleeting. And in so doing, we divide the mindless oneness of what we usually are into a mindful duality of Self (Subject) and Non-Self (Object) - we notice the field-of-awareness that we always are - the Whole that remains after its experiential manifestation-parts have once again re-assembled into a new Gestalt.Of course, there is no need to seek suffering just to develop a meditation practice. Suffering will find you (on its own karmic timeline). And when suffering finds you, see if you can find yourself amidst suffering. Just look inside, that's all.