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Buddhism and Suffering

From Guy Claxton's The Heart of Buddhism, Chapter 1:

This brings up another quite common reaction to Buddhism: that its concern — some would say its obsession — with 'suffering' is depressing and unhealthy. Indeed, from the point of view of the more usual attempt to deal with trouble by trying to ignore it, it does look perverse. Why on earth would anyone want to dwell on the bad stuff? We cannot really answer this yet, for to do so we have to get right into the core of Buddhism. All we an say is that people discover for themselves that the attempt to avoid the hurt and pain of living is more trouble than it is worth, and that equanimity can be found by staring distress in the face, not by running away from it, or trying to do battle with it. The buddhist emphasis on 'suffering' is not masochistic, but an unsentimental, clear-sighted, pragmatic response to the problem of how to be as happy as possible in a life that is bound to hit you from time to time.

^z - 2015-01-18