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Lions Roar : March 2015
E ALL WANT TO BE HAPPY and there are many books and teachers in the world that try to help people be happier. Yet we all continue to suffer. Therefore, we may think that we’re “doing it wrong.” Somehow we are “failing at happiness.” That isn’t true. Being able to enjoy happiness doesn’t require that we have zero suffering. In fact, the art of happiness is also the art of suffering well. When we learn to acknowledge, embrace, and understand our suffering, we suffer much less. Not only that, but we’re also able to go further and transform our suffering into under- standing, compassion, and joy for ourselves and for others. One of the most difficult things for us to accept is that there is no realm where there’s only happiness and there’s no suffering. This doesn’t mean that we should despair. Suffering can be transformed. As soon as we open our mouth to say “suffering,” we know that the opposite of suffering is already there as well. Where there is suffering, there is happiness. According to the creation story in the biblical book of Genesis, God said, “Let there be light.” I like to imagine that light replied, saying, “God, I have to wait for my twin brother, darkness, to be with me. I can’t be there without 5 Practices for Nurturing Happiness The great Buddhist teacher THICH NHAT HANH suffered a serious stroke in November. We join practitioners around the world in sending our prayers and good wishes for his full recovery. Thich Nhat Hanh’s life is inspiring, his benefit great, and his teaching, like the dharma itself, profound and practical. PHOTO©UNIFIEDBUDDHISTCHURCH W SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2015 40