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Steven Tierney, Ed.D.

Steven Tierney, Ed.D. — August 5th, 2018 Teaching

Suffering and Happiness – Both are Present, Embrace Them.

"Living Happily with things as they are (Drishta dharma sukha viharin) encourages an ancient Buddhist teaching.  Those of us who have lived with addiction, struggled with recovery and found our common bonds: trauma and toxic shame, may find that teaching simplistic or even dismissive.
As Buddhists, we know that suffering is part of life.  We accept that.  Then, right in the center of the Big Book of alcoholics anonymous (p 132) is a wonderful sentence: “We absolutely insist on enjoying life…we are not a glum lot”!
How do we create a life that includes both suffering and happiness?  Letting go!
Gil Fronsdal writes: “Renunciation is one of the most beneficial, empowering, and freeing practices of Buddhism. As its purpose is to heighten the best qualities of our hearts and minds, renunciation is not meant to diminish our lives but rather to enhance them. Abstaining from intoxicating drinks and drugs—the fifth ethical precept—is an important Buddhist practice.
So, we welcome suffering and delusion when they arise, we notice them, but we do not cling. We let them go and we acknowledge that happiness is also present.
Not one, not two."