In Times of Intense Suffering and Pain. Ten Points to Remember and Reflect On

Despair, anguish, sorrow, anger and other deeply distressing states of mind reveal inner torment in times of intense suffering and pain.

Our hearts reach out to all those who suffer without exception. There are no divisions in nationality, culture, gender, age or personal circumstances in the arising of suffering.

1.     Explore ways to find inner calmness. Mindfulness of breathing, walking, listening to soothing music, meditation, prayer, writing etc Find another or others to share experiences. Make the primary intention to reduce the suffering and to find some degree of inner peace.

2.   Be careful of information overload. The heart-mind-body cannot keep absorbing terrible accounts of suffering on the television screen, radio and social media. It deepens the trauma and easily leads to despair, loss of purpose and for some the desire for revenge.

3.   Be mindful of the inner force of desire in its reactive state bringing stress upon the body, affecting speech and infecting the mind with dark thoughts. Is there another way to look at the situation?

4.   Make every communication significant. Try not to spread more suffering through stories, reports and views. Make time in the day to stop and be still for a few minutes on any chair – bus, car, kitchen table, desk and in a coffee shop.

5.    Listen patiently to the anguish of others. Reflect on thoughtful questions to reduce their anguish. Find out what ways you can be a support.

6.   Never forget that empathy, kindness and wisdom transcend the intensity of suffering. Find those with empathy to give inspiration and insights to you.

7.    The nightmare of circumstances will pass.

8.   Circumstances lead up to suffering and pain. If the circumstances do not change, then the intensity of suffering will return again and again.

9.   What can you do? What steps are you willing to take to change the circumstances?

10.        Your calm, kindness and wise actions can make an important contribution to developing a harmonious relationship between people.




2 thoughts on “In Times of Intense Suffering and Pain. Ten Points to Remember and Reflect On”

  1. I still don’t understand why senior western dharma teachers , I mean those who are Jewish and American ( so a very powerful and useful platform) are not speaking out about the horrendous behaviour of Isreal in Gaza right now? Please help me to understand. Why aren’t they joining in with the Jewish voice for peace campaign?

  2. I don’t understand why senior western dharma teachers are not speaking out about the genocide in Palestine.
    Many of the senior American teachers remain silent ! I find this as painful as when I learnt that they were teaching mindfulness to the military. Not to war veterans which would have been admirable but to active soldiers as a strategy to make sure bullets hit people accurately .

    Only the legacy of the dear beloved Thich Nhat Hanh lives on in truth and peace and engaged activism. His sangha delivered a letter speaking out against the massively disproportionate killing going on in Palestine at the moment.


    Senior American dharma teachers are from Jewish heritage and they are American, that’s a powerful platform to be speaking out from. Why do they remain silent?

    For peace. For all of those in Israel and those in Palestine , just why?

    I can anyone help me understand? I feel so upset by it and have lost a lot of respect t for these teachers. It’s so very sad.

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