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Voluntarily Accepting Suffering

from

Courageous Compassion
Vol. 6 of The Library of Wisdom and Compassion – New book!
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Ven. Thubten Chodron

Usually we think that suffering has no benefit at all. However, although we definitely should not deliberately bring misery to ourselves, when it does arrive unasked, contemplating its benefits helps us to avoid increasing our suffering by falling into anger and despair.

For example, suffering can strengthen our determination to be free from saṃsara because we understand that as long as we’re in saṃsāra, such suffering will occur. Suffering also can dispel conceit and make us a kinder and humbler person. While crushing our arrogance isn’t necessarily pleasant, it is beneficial—as we’re happier and have better relationships when we don’t consider ourselves above others.

Undergoing misery also opens our hearts in compassion to others who are in similar situations. We understand them better, and sharing a common experience, we feel closer to them. We begin to care about their suffering as much as we care about our own, and in our heart we begin to understand that suffering is to be eliminated; it doesn’t matter whose it is.

Learn more about the book here.

Watch Venerable Thubten Chodron introduce the book here and read from the book here.

East West Bookshop will host an online book launch on June 16. Learn more about it here.