I like this, I don't like that

One of the first ideas Buddha shares with everyone after he has become enlightened is: There is suffering.

This sentence is not here to depress you or to make you feel hopeless but to help you acknowledge a truth, as Buddha describes, a noble truth.

Suffering is an attachment to something you like (want) or an aversion to something you do not like (dont want).

The best thing you can do for yourself is to watch without getting involved emotionally whether you like or do not like something (a sight, a sound, a feeling, a situation, etc). You could simply say to yourself “I like this” or “I dont like that.”

It is not about getting rid of likes or dislikes but just observing so that you can have equanimity towards them.

With these observations you get to know yourself (your Self) a little bit more by saying, “Oh this is me wanting” or “Oh this is me not wanting.” With this acknowledgement now it becomes easier to step down and away from the suffering.

Today you practice without judgment whether you like or don't like or even are neutral. As you look around at objects in the room note silently to yourself “like, don't like, or neutral.” Or you may use the phrases “want, don't want, no preference.” You may do the same with sounds. As you stretch you may do the same with sensations in your body. Remember it does not matter what it is but that you are noticing them. You can have a million likes and one don't like or 37 likes and 22 don't likes. The count and balance is irrelevant. The acknowledgement is what is important.