Quote of the Week | Benefits of Pain

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Dharma Quote of the Week
November 26, 2012

BENEFITS OF PAIN

Shantideva cites three benefits of pain. First, it is valuable because through sorrow, pride is driven out. No matter how arrogant and condescending we’ve been, great suffering can humble us. The pain of a serious illness or loss of a loved one can be transformative, softening us and making us less self-centered.

The second benefit of pain is empathy: the compassion felt for those who wander in samsara. Our personal suffering brings compassion for others in the same situation. A young woman was telling me that when her baby died, she felt a deep connection to all the other parents who had lost children. This was, as she put it, the unexpected blessing of her sorrow.

The third value of suffering is that evil is avoided and goodness seems delightful. When we practice according to Shantideva’s instructions, we can get smarter about cause and result. Based on this understanding, we’ll have less inclination to cause harm, and more desire to gather virtue and benefit others.

Of Interest to Readers

This title is now available in audio format! Take advantage of a free audio download (“Developing a Clear Intention: The Excellence of Bodhichitta”) and save 30% on the audio or print edition when you use code DQ111912 at checkout. Offer expires 12/3/12.

EXCERPTED FROM

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No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, by Pema Chödrön, pages 172–173.

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To save 30%, use code DQ111912 at checkout through 12/3/12.

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Teachings excerpted from works published by Shambhala Publications and Snow Lion Publications.

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