The Ineffable Cheerfulness of Acknowledging Suffering and Impermanence

Some friends and family members have decided to read selected Buddhist teachings and talk about them together, all with our own reasons for doing it.  My main reason is that it makes me cheerful.  Roshi’s famous quote – “Life is like stepping into a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink” – makes me laugh every time, which may be perverse, but explicable given my innate pessimistic temperament.  If I always keep in mind suffering and change – and believe me, I do – then any lovely little pleasure or beauty stands out even brighter against the darkness.  Or something.  Anything good that happens is an unexpected pleasant surprise.

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