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Maintaining Right View in Difficult Times

Stress is the disconnect between the way things are and the way we think they should be. It can be a stressful to maintain Right View in difficult times, because we know that things don’t have to be this way. We can see through the misinformation and propaganda. It’s frustrating, no, it’s outright rage-inducing to watch people stand in front of you and lie. Knowing that people are dying due to inaction, or wrong action, is agonizing. It’s clear that so much suffering at this moment in history is the result of deliberate choices made by the rude, cruel, and willfully ignorant.

Right View, one step on the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism, can be described as seeing things as they are. It means looking at objective reality free from the biases of ideology and personal experiences. You need to have Right View, solid facts and reliable information, to make good decisions.

It also means understanding that our actions have consequences. Not just for ourselves, but for others. What we say and do has the power to alleviate suffering or amplify it. Knowing this allows us, again, to make better decisions. While we cannot always control the outcomes of our actions, because we aren’t always able to see all of the variables, when we do know what the impacts are we are responsible for them.

I stepped away from social media because it perpetuates the exact opposite of Right View, and knowingly amplifies suffering. Likewise, I have stopped writing about current events. Unless and until I can see how sharing information can be helpful, I have to stop. Ultimately, I am tired of being angry and ranting about the disconnect between the way things are and the way I think things should be.

May we all be well, happy and peaceful, may no harm come to us, may we all also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life.

Right View in Difficult Times

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