When suffering strikes, running the opposite direction as fast as we can seems to make so much sense, doesn’t it?
After all, nobody wants suffering in their life. So we avoid it at all costs. We dodge and duck and bargain. But does pushing pain away cut it?
As Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron says, “No one ever tells us to stop running away from fear. We are very rarely told to move closer, to just be there, to become familiar with fear.”
When I once asked Pema how she dealt with her own debilitating chronic fatigue, she said she tried to apply the advice her teacher had given her. “Lean into it. Stay present. Stay curious. Go through it paying meticulous attention as if you wanted to describe it in great detail to someone who’s never heard of it.”
What would happen if we stayed to pay attention?
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