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Healing Our Suffering


"Quite often we avoid silence, thinking that we will thereby avoid suffering;

but in truth, taking quiet time to come home to ourselves with awareness

is the only thing that will help heal our suffering."

Thich Nhat Hanh

No matter how hard we may try to avoid it, suffering is a part of being human, as we face the difficulties, challenges, and unexpected loss that goes along with being in this body. All of us have suffered, and all of us wish to be free of the pain associated with the mental and emotional turmoil that is so often at the root of our suffering.

In this quest to be free of suffering, we often turn to the very things that create even more chaos in our lives, and turn away from that which can bring peace and healing to our minds and hearts. In an effort to avoid suffering, we can find ourselves trying in vain to fill the space of our life with ever more things to do, places to go, and things to see. We work more, we talk more, we drink more, we eat more, we do more; all in an attempt to quiet the pain in our minds. But all this 'doing' does is create more of what we are trying to run from.

What we begin to discover is that if we are willing to slow down, become quiet, and breathe mindfully, we give ourselves the opportunity to heal our suffering by holding it within our loving awareness. Taking time to be alone, we discover the solitude where true happiness can be found within. In the process we become more able to have compassion for the suffering that others are going through, and able to listen deeply and offer our true presence to our loved ones when they go through their own suffering. Thus in first healing ourselves, we offer healing to everyone who crosses our path.

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