Updated: Sep 12
Lion's Roar is a Buddhist magazine and website. It presents Buddhist teachings in clear, engaging language, often accompanied by beautiful & inspiring images.
"Suffering is not what we think it to be. It is an invitation—an invitation to see our true nature. What seems like crushing weight is asking us to stop employing a divided heart. I’ll say that again: what seems like crushing weight, like the impossibility of this life, is asking something of us. It’s asking us to stop employing the divided heart that wants one side to dominate the other: the sage to kick out the fool, the strong to overcome the weak, the good to dispense with the bad. The stone cliff of our life will not be leveraged."
"To properly process anger, we have to really face it. It’s essential to feel and constructively express the feelings that come with difficult emotions. Look at the Buddha’s story of 'King Sakka’s Demon.' This demon fed on people’s resistance and anger. One day the demon climbed onto the king’s throne while he was away. Sakka’s guards saw the little demon and yelled at it, 'How dare you sit on the throne? This is an outrage!' As they yelled, the demon became a ferocious beast, breathing fire and terrifying the guards, who fled.
When King Sakka returned, he tried a different approach. He greeted the demon with kindness. 'How can I make you feel comfortable?' he asked. 'Can I offer you something to eat? Do you want to put your claws up on the table?' With each nicety, the demon shrank in size. It became smaller and smaller until eventually the king could easily remove it from the throne."
"In nature itself there is beauty that is beyond beauty. When you see a part of it, you may think this rock should be moved one way, and that rock should be moved another way, and then it will be a complete garden. Because you limit the actual reality using the scale of your small self, there is either a good garden or a bad garden, and you want to change some stones. But if you see the thing itself as it is with a wider mind, there is no need to do anything."
"In the end, we have done just the opposite of what we set out to do. We thought that protecting ourselves and paying attention to our feelings would make us happier, but actually, our unhappiness increased. In the dharma we have a saying, 'All people desire happiness, but instead they chase after suffering.' When we reflect on our relationship with our emotions, we can see just how true this is.
The Buddhist path has tools that help us train our mind so we don’t put so much energy into our emotional responses. By gradually reducing the focus we ordinarily place on our emotions, we begin to identify with them less. As we identify with our emotions less, we become more willing to let small situations go, and we begin to feel more relaxed. This starts a different kind of emotional cycle. As we start to see that letting small situations go actually brings us peace of mind and happiness, we become willing to let other situations go too. When we relax and let go, we identify with our emotions even less. When we identify with our emotions less, we are less self-protective, less emotionally reactive, and we feel happier."