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The Honest Mistake of Trying to Bypass Suffering

Buddhism begins with suffering and the end of suffering and the path toward the end of suffering. This is essential and useful for everyone, not just Buddhists. But this approach can easily lead to a grave spiritual error: the notion that suffering is something to be avoided, prevented, escaped, bypassed.

I have seen many Western Buddhist students suffer a great deal because of this natural error, thinking and believing they could go beyond or had gone beyond their suffering, only to find that it was there all along, underneath their seeming calmness and insight, and that because they had tried not to see and accept it, they had made it far worse.

Norman Fischer
from When You Greet Me I Bow

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