Book number 43: The Miracle of Suffering by Phra Maha Vuddhijaya Vajiramedhi. My cousin’s wife lent the book to me (It amazes me how she has gone from friend, to fiance, to wife in here :D), thanks!
What it is: I think this qualifies as a religious read, Buddhism, you know? Basically, it’s about how suffering can “resolve into happiness.” For the non Buddhist, their take on life may seem morbid but honestly, it makes sense particularly when you adopt a mindful perspective of suffering.
Briefly, The Miracle of Suffering teaches readers how to use suffering as a tool to achieve happiness, which ultimately eradicates suffering. One comparison I’m so fond of is how the author likened suffering to an orange (Hi, LJ!): the suffering is the peel and happiness is the fruit underneath; to achieve happiness, one must peel of the skin and look deeply into the suffering to overcome it.
What I liked about it: Practical, easy to read, insightful, and funny and witty at times, I truly enjoyed reading the Miracle of Suffering. I’m not a Buddhist but I liked this one a lot so I guess that is saying something. The anecdotes are very smart and engaging, but more than that, the way of life it presents is so rad. Can I say rad when referring to monks?
I’m a fan of how mindfulness, how being present is promoted as a tool to freeing the mind and in turn, achieving happiness. Heaven knows I’m mindless. It amazes me how I get by some days, I tell you. The teaching on being present is one thing I most appreciate while challenging me at the same time (Of course, I’ll lose; there’s no way in hell a mind like mine can be still, but it’s nice to dream). Oh, the illustrations in The Miracle of Suffering rocks so much too!
What I did not like about it: Put simply, there are grammar errors. Some bits are preachy, of course that’s a given, but I tolerated it well so it’s alright. I think I’ll go back to this book time and again when I feel I’m spiraling down. The Miracle of Suffering can be quite a good anchor. Yes, I liked it that much.
Recommended for: Buddhists and to everybody else interested in taming the mind and using it as a tool to bust suffering’s ass.
Photo taken from here.