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  • Writer's pictureYurika Vu

The purpose of suffering

The first Noble Truth of Buddhism "Life is suffering" also known as Dukkha

Sometimes I look around at the world, people's lives, situations, and witness so much suffering. Natural disasters that demolish cities, people hurting each other in violence, painful and hurtful arguments between partners, or the constantly mean things we say to ourselves in our heads. Everywhere there is suffering. Every day, every minute, every second there is suffering. To choose not to see it, does not mean it does not exist. It's still there. 

Do you ever wonder why there is so much suffering in the world? I often find myself pondering that question at least several times a year,  oftentimes when there is something drastic affecting many lives and I feel helpless. As I shared in my last email, with the recent fires burning millions of acres where I live- suffering has been on the forefront of my mind. Why is there so much suffering? Why is life suffering? Why do we suffer? 

I've learned that suffering has a purpose.

Only from suffering, compassion and understanding is born. Without suffering, it is impossible to cultivate compassion and understanding. It gives us the ability to empathize with people's pain. It allows us to relate, to feel, to connect deeply with another person. In a way, it is a gift.

So if "life is suffering" then life is also full of opportunities to learn to be understanding and compassionate. What a beautiful opportunity. ♥

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