The Dalai Lama often reminds his students that the goal of the path of meditation is to fully awaken to our true nature and to become enlightened. To become enlightened, he has pointed out, we must perfect compassion, and to perfect compassion, we must encounter suffering. Taking this teaching to heart, a natural next reflection is that if this is really true, then what is the real meaning of pain or suffering in our lives and in our world?I do think that the purpose of life is to cultivate compassion and to offer it both to ourselves and to others. In the next few days we'll look at more of what the Leveys have to say about working skillfully with pain.
Pain, suffering, loss, and dissatisfaction invite us onto a path of soul searching, self-refection, and transformation. If instead of turning away or dulling our experience, we embrace and investigate it and allow it to open our hearts and minds to a deeper compassion and insight, there is great liberating potential in this.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Today I happened to pick up a book that's been on my shelves for a long time really called The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation by Joel and Michelle Levey. I don't know if I've blogged from it before but I don't think so. I opened it a random and came across this beginning of a chapter called, "Transforming Pain":