Tag Archives: suffering

Dealing with Suffering *is* Spiritual Practice

This is the second in a three-part series of articles sharing the insights of some spiritual thinkers on the subject of suffering and the First Noble Truth. In the first article, I shared insights from Ken Wilber’s No Boundary. You can read the post here: Dissatisfaction with Life-the Start of Discovery This excerpt in this […]

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Dissatisfaction with Life-the Start of Discovery

The Buddha is often quoted as saying he taught one thing: “I teach suffering and the end of suffering.” Sounds kind of limiting and simplistic, no? Where’s the joy and liberation in that? Since the First Noble Truth is the truth of suffering, and since this insight is so often misunderstood by non-Buddhists, and even […]

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What Actually Happens Inside Us When We Are Hurt By Another?

We feel that someone has hurt us, but is the hurt we feel caused by the other person?  Or are the actions of others merely the “approximate cause” of the suffering—in other words, the trigger, but not the actual cause of the suffering itself? Put that way, it might seem obvious. Others can’t really make […]

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Thich Nhat Hanh-The Five Mindfulness Trainings

I still remember vividly taking the Five Mindful Trainings vow in 2002 from Thich Nhat Hanh at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. By now, the Trainings are written in my heart, but I still look at them once a week, renewing my vow and sending to Thây, his monks and nuns, and his students, any merit […]

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Thich Nhat Hanh-The Holy Truth of Suffering

Dear friends, the Buddhadharma is described as something that you can come and see by yourself. You don’t have to believe something through another person, even the clergy, the priest, the mediator. The ultimate dimension of reality is something you can touch, you can see by yourself. And you can do it now, and here; […]

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The Karma of Not-self (audio)

Here’s another skillful teaching from Thanissaro Bhikkhu on how to use the idea of “not-self” skillfully. The teaching on “not-self” is some esoteric, metaphysical idea that we think about. It’s an immensely practical teaching that helps us look at how our thoughts and actions create a sense of self that determines our happiness or our […]

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Healing the Body with Mindfulness of Breathing

This excerpt from a talk by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh explains how to use mindfulness of breathing to bring loving-kindness to our dear bodies. The physical effect of this can be truly remarkable. As Thây says, “You should really love your body. You should really take care of your body. Mindful breathing, with rest, […]

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There’s More to Dying Than Death-A Buddhist Perspective

“It is understandable that those who do not believe there is any reality deeper than this life, and the death that ends it, do not want to dwell on the fact of death. But if you suspect there is a way to awaken to a deeper, timeless reality that lies beyond birth and death, there […]

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Some Helpful Buddhist Meditations on Death (audio)

Of all the challenges we face as humans, none is more difficult than death. Whether it’s the death of a loved one, the death of thousands in some natural disaster, or the fear of our own eventual demise, death is the terrible problem that won’t go away. Nothing causes more suffering. Confronted with age, sickness, […]

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How Insight and Loving-kindness Free Us from Mental Parasites

In an earlier post entitled “Taming Elephants-How To Transform Negative Habit Energies,” I shared teachings from Thich Nhat Hanh on how to deal with what he called “habit energies.” As Thầy, as Thich Nhat Hanh is affectionately known by his students, writes: “We know how strong, how powerful the habit energy is. We notice that […]

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Samsara-It’s a Verb not a Place

If you read “Nirvana is a verb, not a place,” and it helped your practice, then this short article will probably make a lot of sense too. One of the things I love about Buddhism is that it makes us look at our actions—what we do and don’t do—as the literal creator of our individual […]

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Tricycle Magazine – The Hour of the Wolf – Clark Strand

I subscribe to the Tricyle Magazine’s daily mailing, and today’s mailing and video were so good, I wanted to refer folks to it: The Hour of the Wolf The hours of Green Meditation are sometimes referred to as “the hour of the wolf,” because this is the time when anxieties, health or financial worries, and […]

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Metta Music-Another Train

This is another in the series of “dharma songs” I’ve been posting from time to time. These are songs that have comforted, inspired, helped, and healed me over the years. I invite you to look up the song and have a listen (the lyrics tell only part the story; the beautiful music and voices complete […]

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Groundhog Day and the serious problem of impermanence

One of the most basic teachings of the Buddha, so far as I understand it, is that all conditioned things, all contingent things, all fabricated things, all things that arise, and thus all things that pass away, are inherently impermanent, and thus are intrinsically dukkha—suffering and unsatisfactoriness. Further, the Buddha, or Buddhism, teaches that our […]

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Is This Skillful? One of the Most Important Question in Buddhist Practice

This talk by Thanissaro Bhikkhu is offered as a helpful follow-up to my recent posts on how the Buddha answered (or didn’t answer!) “hard questions,” such as why is there evil and where did it come from? See: Buddhism’s Practical Answer to the Problem of Evil-Part 1 The Buddha’s Silence-and the Problem of Evil Buddhism’s […]

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Buddhism’s Practical Answer to the Problem of Evil-Part 2

In my previous post, Buddhism’s Practical Answer to the Problem of Evil – Part 1, I focused on how the Buddha’s focus on answering this problem was not philosophical or metaphysical, but practical and existential. Indeed, philosophical and metaphysical beliefs can utterly sidetrack us from seeing the truth of things for ourselves. I also posted […]

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The Buddha’s Silence-and the Problem of Evil

As a helpful interlude between Part 1 and Part 2 of “Buddhism’s Practical Answer to the Problem of Evil,” I thought I’d share this short piece by Godwin Samararatne on the larger issue of why, how, and when the Buddha answered questions. It should help give a wider context for discussing the Buddha’s solution to […]

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Buddhism’s Practical Answer to the Problem of Evil – Part 1

This is a first in a two-part discussion of the problem of evil in light of Buddhist teachings.  Of course, what I say here are my own views on this complex subject, but these views are shaped and informed by what I’ve learned for myself in my study of the Buddha’s teachings on good and […]

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Breathing in Peace-Breathing out Love (music)

With so much pain and suffering in the news, I wanted to share this guided metta meditation that I’ve used for years. It’s from the book Who is My Self: A Guide to Buddhist Meditation by Ayya Khema, a wonderfully skillful nun in the Theravada tradition. This particular guided meditation has been especially helpful in […]

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Buddhist Forgiveness-When We Have Hurt Another-Part 3

When we hurt others, and our conscience is awake, we suffer. While having a conscience is good, the Buddha is all about the ending of suffering, right? So, what do we do? Bhante Bodhidhamma is a vipassana (insight meditation) teacher of over 20 years experience. He offers some very helpful insight practices to help us […]

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