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Suffering: How do we Understand it and Why Does it Matter?

Friday, January 26, 2018 - 17:00 to Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 14:00
All day: 
Suffering: How do we Understand it and Why Does it Matter?
January 26th - January 28th, 2018
Barre Center For Buddhist Studies
149 Lockewood Rd.
Barre, MA 01005
Registration Information
While we all know suffernig when we see it, there are countless ways of understanding its causes. Some of these are shared and formal, such as those found in medicine, psychology and Wester religious traditions, and many are private and idiosyncratic to every one of us. How we understand suffering critically shapes the way we respond to it. In this course, we will explore a range of accounts of suffering, including how our understanding is shaped by personal history, culture, science and personality, with particular attention tot he underlying assumptions about suffering found in clinical psychology and psychotherapy. We will then explore the Buddha's formulation for the origin and cessation of suffering. Every 'great tradition' has some cornerstone truth, and the First Noble Truth of Suffering is one such foundational axiom of Buddhist thought and practice: If we are born, we are inevitably subject to suffering, and yet it is the experience everyone is most motivated to escape. In this, suffering becomes a central and enduring problem for all of us. Through readings, conversation, lecture, and practice, we will explore these various formulations, in order to open up broader avenues for understanding - and responding to - suffering. Wile this course has relevance for mental health practicitions and other caregivers, enrollment is open to all.