An End to Suffering

the-four-noble-truthsThe first of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths is that life means suffering. It is true indeed. No one escapes this life without experiencing pain and anguish.

The three remaining Truths, however, offer hope and comfort to all souls everywhere: attachment to desire is the cause of suffering; suffering can be overcome; and finally, the path of practice that leads to enlightenment and an end of suffering.

God brings men into deep waters not to drown them, but to cleanse them.
John H. Aughey

Implicit in the Buddha’s teachings is the distinction between pain and suffering. Pain is physical and cannot be avoided; suffering is emotional and can be transcended.

Suffering can be a catalyst for growth. A physical or emotional crisis jolts us out of our comfort zone and, whether we like it or not, compels us to explore an inner world that initially seems like foreign territory.

Even with the unshakable faith that you are being guided with infinite wisdom and deep love, you may grieve as intensely as you ever did when your physical or emotional well-being is threatened. The difference is, with a solid spiritual foundation in place, you will likely recover more quickly.

A man may perform astonishing feats and comprehend a vast amount of knowledge, and yet have no understanding of himself. But suffering directs a man to look within. If it succeeds, then there, within him, is the beginning of his learning.
Soren Kierkegaard


Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?

Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier

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SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

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Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.

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4 Responses to “An End to Suffering”

  1. Sibyl Says:

    This was a good one. It is so true that many of the things that cause us so much suffering really do end up serving as the best catalysts for growth. I also thought the point you made was excellent about the fact that even though you may have unshakable faith, you may still grieve and be upset. It is such a reality of life, and it doesn’t mean that your faith isn’t genuine, but rather that you are human and that your spiritual foundation is continuing to grow and strengthen. I really enjoyed this one. Thanks for the post.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Well said, Sibyl. Thank you for adding your wisdom to this post.

  3. jopet Says:

    yes, truly suffering can bring out the best in us. in my life now i realized how suffering is making me see things that i would have not seen if life has been easy. while pain was unavoidable, finding meaning made it bearable. thanks Phil for all the inspiring thoughts you write in your blog. i read them all even if i don’t always write comments. everytime i get the chance to go to internet i always open your blog. so keep doing it because people like me do find your posts inspiring that help us keep going and make our world a better place. God bless you!

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you so much, Jopet. It’s comments like yours that keep me going too!

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