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Article LX: Approach to Suffering

It can certainly be difficult to aspire toward enlightenment when there is so much suffering in the world. It is most frustrating to watch loved ones suffer, and it can be challenging to maintain an aspiration toward peace in the midst of such suffering. To uphold dharma (duty), one may attempt to relieve suffering, but these efforts are only finite. Frustration and anxiety from the inability to relieve suffering of others will only impede one's spiritual growth. By acting selflessly and non-attached to results, one can partially relieve suffering of others, yet remain peaceful and on the path toward enlightenment. In the Noble Truths of Buddhism, it is described that life is suffering, and only eliminating desires will end suffering. By ending desires, one can eliminate one's own suffering, and, therefore, better serve humanity. One's own spiritual growth can contribute to others' spiritual growth, thereby, synergistically relieving suffering. Hence, it is important to act selflessly in efforts to relieve others' suffering. However, it is equally important to remain peaceful in order to continue one's own spiritual growth, which will facilitate others' spiritual growth and the relief of suffering in general.

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
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