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suffering pulls you up

Went to see the lawyer yesterday to sign reams of paper related to the sale of my old home. As I look back over the various accidents and incidents that have marked my way over the last six months, and re-read the blog entries for that period, I’m struck by the richness of opportunities to awaken.  Awaken to fears, doubts, impermanence, and the fallacy of knowing what happens next; awaken to silence deep in the heart, compassion both giving and receiving, and a sense of belonging that surpasses people and things.

In a recent video “Talking With Buddha,” Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, an English-born, Tibetan-trained Buddhist nun, says that–

The good thing about suffering is that it pulls people up and gets them thinking. … When everything goes well, one tends to be less motivated to deal with the fundamental issues of life.

To see a clip of the video, click here.


7 responses »

  1. Peter, this insight certainly is reflect of my own experience over the past six months. My “suffering” has been indirect in support/caregiver of another that is close to me. However, in during that time my left shoulder froze from what should have been a mild strain pulling broom. I believe that it may have froze partly as a way to make my emotional and spiritual experiences physically real to me. This may sound strange but intuitively this is what makes sense. Good luck on your road to wellness. Terrill

    • not “strange” to me, terrill, although i need to be reminded to listen to the intuitive voice — and to trust its wisdom that’s deeper than my thinking mind. my sincere wishes and greetings to you and david.

  2. toynbeeconvector

    Where does one begin to meditate again after such a long “detached” period? I really really like reading your posts because they remind me of things I used to feel/think…but now I’m a bit lost. Help?

    • I suggest you start where you are: feeling lost and being curious. Find a quiet place and time. Sit still. Notice your breath, observe your body’s sensations, note thoughts … and let go of expectations. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes each day.

      You already know how to do this.
      please write again,

      • toynbeeconvector

        Hi Peter! I’m pleased to meet you. My name is Nash and I blog on WordPress too. I think I’ll try to meditate tomorrow and see what happens. Thank you for the advice.

        Who would you recommend I read though? I’ve never really read about meditation before because it was always easy to get into the mood but now it seems I need more pushing.

  3. Thanks for the link to the video on my blog Peter. I’m glad you received some value from visiting my site & I’m so happy to have come across yours.

    I really like the title of this post as I know that my own personal sufferings have only served to bring me to where I am now – with a bit more clarity, space and patience.

    Thanks again.

  4. re: toynbeeconvector
    February 24th, 2010

    my immediate reaction is to say “don’t read about it” but “do” or, better, “just sit.” but there are many times when a teacher or strong dharma companion are worth their weight in gold.

    if you can’t sit with an expereinced practitioner and want to read, I’d suggest the first two books by Ezra Bayda (“At home in muddy waters,” and “Being Zen.”) Let me know how they work for you and I’d be glad to suggest others.


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