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Photo Credits:-

Butterfly Woman
(Conmongt, Pixabay)

Angel with Hobo
(Dieterich01, Pixabay)

Mourning Woman statue
(kellepics, Pixabay)

The head of a dark-skinned woman, her eyes closed, her hair swept back, a deep blue sky background, and a blue butterfly over her mouth Tales of Suffering

On Suffering gives the Buddhist story of a woman who has just lost her son and seeks help from the Buddha. He asks her to visit homes in nearby villages and return with a grain of rice for each home in which no tears were shed.
After a week, she returns empty-handed.
This exercise may not reduce pain, but may develop empathy and compassion.

We too can practise this story as a spiritual discipline.
Do this by dedicating some of your time, some of your life to listening to the many tales of suffering that exist.
This should open your heart.
For many people, it will bring gratitude that your life is as it is.
We count our blessings.

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die, so, let us all be thankful." (Buddhist quote)

If we can, we go help those less fortunate.
Or we can at least pray for others and emanate loving thoughts.

"Love much. Earth has enough of bitter in it." (Ella Wheeler Wilcox)

A dark, dreary street scene with a hobo sitting, rubbish bins nearby, a white female-looking angel hovers behind him

Here are some stories of suffering that deeply impacted me:-
  • Stories of extreme colonial violence (e.g. here, here).
  • Stories of slavery and racism (e.g. here).
  • Stories from the WW2 Holocaust (e.g. here).
  • Stories from the 1994 Rwandan genocide (e.g. here).
  • Stories from the 21st century Chinese genocide of Uighurs (e.g. here).
  • Stories of animal cruelty and experimentation (e.g. here).
  • Stories of children in war (e.g. here).
Here are some other resources:-
Giant stone statue of woman on the ground , legs bent beneath her, hand on face, giant skull next to her, sunlight behind her

Also see:-

Suffering articles

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Page last updated: 31 October 2023.