Buddha lesson for the day: Self-compassion

art installation of two arrows in the groundI enjoy sharing the occasional essay from my personal files with my Write Directions audience. This was originally posted at Lifenicity.com, where I explore the richness of life in all its dimensions.

The Buddha once asked a student, “If a person is struck by an arrow, is it painful?” The student replied, “It is.”

The Buddha then asked, “If the person is struck by a second arrow, is that even more painful?” The student replied again, “It is.”

The Buddha then explained, “In life, we cannot always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. And with this second arrow comes the possibility of change.”

Excerpted from “Self-compassion: Releasing the second arrow,” True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart, by Tara Brach.

She’s a practicing Buddhist and psychologist. I have listened to her speak and subscribe to her podcast. She’s pretty darn incredible, and her voice calms me down immediately.

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