Buddhist Wisdom for Difficult Times (Part II)

If you want to deny or avoid something and have a picnic or vacation instead, you may feel some short-term relief, but the problem will remain. So instead of doing that, if you penetrate into the suffering or the tragedy and see its nature with some perspective, your mental attitude will improve, and you will have a real chance of resolving the problem.
                    –The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama indicates that running away from one’s problem(s) will only delay the inevitable–the problem will return and manifest itself yet again. This idea is one that I witness all the time regarding health issues. People regularly want to take a pill or medication that will mask some type of pain that they are having, instead of finding the source of the problem and remedying it instead. For instance, many individuals in Western cultures simply want to take an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) to help with their depression or mood disorder. While these medications may help regulate mood, they might simply be covering up deeper concerns, stressors, or issues that are causing the poor mood.

One reserve that I have with this philosophy is the portion stating that one’s “mental attitude will improve” if one “penetrate[s] into the suffering or tragedy.” I don’t believe that diving into one’s problems will necessarily make one feel better immediately, or improve one’s mental attitude. However, denying the problems will certainly not allow for the clarity needed to see possible solutions.

|:| Zach |:|

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