Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Daily Dharma - Stop Running!

Today's Daily Dharma from Tricycle. Nice advice. Suffering is not only the truth of samsara, it's our best teacher.

Opening up to the reality of suffering

The person that desires to have only pleasure and refuses pain expends an enormous amount of energy resisting life--and at the same time misses out enormously. He or she is on a self-defeating mission in any case, for just as we evade certain forms of suffering we inevitably fall victim to others. Underlying our glitzy modern consumer culture there is a deep spiritual undernourishment and malaise that manifests all kinds of symptoms: nervous disorders, loneliness, alienation, purposelessness. . . So blanking out, running away, burying our heads in sand or videotape will take us nowhere in the long run. If we really want to solve our problems--and the world's problems, for they stem from the same roots--we must open up and accept the reality of suffering with full awareness, as it strikes us, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, in the here-now. Then, strange as it may seem, we reap vast rewards. For suffering has its positive side. From it we derive the experience of depth, of the fullness of our humanity. This puts us fully in touch with other people and the rest of the Universe.

~ John Snelling, in Elements of Buddhism; from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book.

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