using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : May 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2008 49 No doubt you have felt the pain, confusion, and stress that this constant flux brings to your own life, with one moment be- ing desirable and the next displeasing. The implications are vast: You make every single choice every day within this context. You cannot escape from the continuous dance. It is an impersonal, universal truth of life. None of us—not even the wealthiest, the wisest, the most powerful—gets to be an exception. We all feel pain, we all lose loved ones, we all get ill, and we all die. Furthermore, every day, even during the pleasant moments, do you not experience an underlying unease about the future? This worry and anxiety is a manifestation of the third type of suf- fering the Buddha identified—life’s inherent unsatisfactoriness due to its intrinsic instability. Even if you are fortunate in terms of your physical and emotional health, and even if you live in a secure environment with material comforts, your life is still filled with uncertainty. Disease, accidents, emotional disruption, eco- nomic setback, and death constantly lurk around the next corner. Do these threats not make you feel anxious and insecure? How often in your adult life have you experienced the queasi- ness and unease that come from a sense of meaninglessness in your life? Think of all those occasions when you felt as though you were wasting you life, or sleepwalking through it, or not liv- ing from your deepest, most heartfelt sense of your self. Remem- ber the times when you felt as though there is little you do each day that has any real, lasting significance. We’ve all fallen prey at some point in our lives to such constricted, dreaded, almost unbearable dark times of self-doubt and existential angst. What Buddha is pointing to is that suffering is an experience of the mind. He’s not offering you relief from pain; he’s offer- ing you relief from the extra mental reactivity that causes your misery. At first this can be foreign, but in fact it’s consistent with the roots of Western understanding of suffering. We’ve just lost our connection to it. Our ancient wisdom-bearers knew life was hard, and they too discovered that there was a difference be- tween the pain of life and your reaction to it. ♦ PHILLIP MOFFITT is a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers’ Council and is founder and president of the Life Balance Institute. He teaches vipassana meditation and mindful movement at retreat centers throughout the U.S. This essay is excerpted from his new book, Dancing With Life: Finding Meaning and Joy in the Face of Suffering. © 2008 by Phillip Moffitt. Published by Rodale Books. MAY 42-49.indd 49 MAY 42-49.indd 49 3/6/08 11:29:34 AM 3/6/08 11:29:34 AM