Life is stressful. Although some people claim that contemporary life is especially stressful, I am skeptical whether that is so. Living beings have always had to struggle for food, for shelter, and for safety. They have always had the stress of finding a mate and reproducing. The world is no Garden of Eden.
Sharon Salzberg on opening to the truth of suffering, the core of the Buddha’s teaching.
In the Baseball Sutra, recently discovered by scholar Donald Lopez, the Buddha explains why he created a game where suffering and failure are the norm.
We have a whole system built on striving and it causes a lot of suffering—anxiety, competition, misplaced priorities. Brad Stulberg looks at ways we can change our stressful striving into right effort.
To the Buddhism’s traditional four causes of suffering we must now add a fifth: the suffering caused by racism, sexism, poverty, and all the other forms of human injustice. Only when seeing that clearly, says Ann Gleig, will our compassion will be complete.
When we are with others in times of suffering, says contemplative care expert Koshin Paley Ellison, we can take the four noble truths as our guide.
On the inbreath, says Judy Lief, take in what is bad, freeing others from it. On the outbreath, offer what is good.
Sylvia Boorstein looks at the paradoxes and subtleties in the central Buddhist concept of no-self.
Nine teachers explain what suffering is, how we feel it, and why it isn’t a condemnation — it’s a joyous opportunity.
Shinshu Roberts examines the suffering inherent in the bodhisattva path, what Dogen referred to as being “the blue lotus in the flame.”