Sogyal Rinpoche briefly explains the Title, Homage and Intent of Tenpé Nyima’s instruction before entering the teaching itself. The main teaching first addresses how to use suffering, and later happiness, as a path to enlightenment. Both of these subjects are approached according to the relative truth, and then the absolute truth. Sogyal Rinpoche focuses on the relative approach to turning suffering into enlightenment.
If we perceive only suffering when difficulties occur, we will experience enormous pain. Perceptions grow stronger every time they are repeated, so our sorrow grows every time we encounter something we consider unpleasant, and we become predisposed to experiencing things as suffering. Our aversion can grow to the point where "the whole world turns hostile." Even though it is our own aversion to harm, and our own attachment to happiness that cause our suffering, we fail to recognize that it is our own perception that determines whether we see things as good or bad, and blame our predicament on external circumstances.