Both Buddhism and Quakerism embrace paradox. The ways that each of these spiritual paths takes to get to higher and nobler living involves going deeper into the human experience.
Thus, the first of “The Four Noble Truths” of Buddhism is, oddly enough, “Pain exists.” And the first of the Quaker Meetings for Business were, significantly enough, Meetings regarding Sufferings.
In fact, nowadays the only time that humans acknowledge being human is when we are in pain or the depths of sorrow/suffering. If we heed, rather than medicate or even transcend, this vulnerability, we are led from our pain and suffering to regret and reparation, or amending change.
Whether nirvana or peace, there are no shortcuts around our human/earthly condition. Even “holy indifference” is achieved by submissive immersion, not active dispersion, into that which both holds and releases us in our human poverty/vulnerability.
Each to his own incarnation,
Image: “Dharma Wheel,” from the library of Triratna_Photos on flickr.