Suffering is a result of ignorance about the way things are. While this can sound decidedly esoteric, the Buddha meant this in quite a literal way.
The reality for most of us, especially in wealthy western societies, is that in our daily lives we already have everything that we need to be happy. The problem is that we are conditioned to constantly want more and to not be satisfied with the current state of affairs.
As a result, we may do things that make our situation worse because we are grasping for something that, as it turns out, we never really needed. Like a cat chasing its tail, we can tie ourselves into knots in the pursuit of ultimately irrelevant objectives.
The answer to this problem is to simply stop grasping into the past and the future and start paying attention to how things are now. If we train ourselves through meditation to bring the mind into the present moment, we will be constantly reminded of all of the good things that we are able to enjoy.
Insight meditation teaches us that we don’t have to allow the mind to dwell on the future or the past. We can enjoy the here and now where peace of mind is waiting to be embraced.