The Essential Guide to Wisdom for Difficult Times

Essential Guide to Wisdom for Difficult Times

In difficult times, some Buddhist teachings tell us to “abandon all hope of fruition.” This does not mean being hopeless, but rather seeing things as they are, which requires acknowledging suffering while realizing we have the power to change it. This collection of wisdom from Pema Chödrön, Margaret Wheatley, Emily Horn, and more looks at hope and hopelessness in difficult times. Step-by-step, and with a little wise hope, we can make change, setting the intention to be of benefit for all.


In Times of Crisis, Draw Upon the Strength of Peace

When we are called upon to help in a crisis, says Kaira Jewel Lingo, we must respond. But the way we do is crucial.

True Practice is Never Disengaged

If we feel like our practice is here, and the world is over there, says Karen Maezen Miller, then we’re missing the point of practice.

Here at the End of the World

Grief is how we love in the face of loss, wrote Joan Sutherland in the Fall 2019 issue of Buddhadharma. Now, in this new time of so much loss, her teaching on coming to terms with grief feels especially relevant.

Cartoon dog comfortable in flames.

These Flames are Cool and Refreshing

What do a 16th-century Zen master and a contemporary cartoon dog have in common? Both of them maintained equanimity as their worlds burned, says Cristina Moon. And this is why we train as Buddhists.


How to Work With Fear and Pain in a Moment of Crisis

Even when it feels like you're lost in the universe, Emily Horn explains, you can face the unknown with a still and calm heart-mind.

The Scream.

How Not to Freak Out

If you find all the bad news overwhelming, Buddhist teacher Judy Lief has some meditations to help you relieve your anxiety.

Tara Brach.

A guided reflection on bringing RAIN to difficulty

In Andrea Miller's article, Tara Brach discusses a technique called RAIN that she frequently teaches to her students, and also uses in her own life. Here's a guided reflection for applying RAIN in your own life, excerpted from True Refuge.

How Meditation Helps in Difficult Times

Pema Chödrön on four ways that meditation helps us deal with difficulty.

Person walking on cold sand dunes.

Finding Hope in Hopelessness

If I have no belief that my vision can become real, asks Margaret Wheatley, where will I find the strength to persevere?

Life is Tough. Here Are Six Ways to Deal With It

These classic Buddhist slogans offer six powerful techniques to transform obstacles into awakening and benefit.