Good story. For a long time I used Zen as a means of… perhaps not escaping pain, but at least not having to deal with or address it. I would sit with my pain and experience it, but having done that, felt that I didn’t actually need to do anything about it. Religion and spirituality should not be a relief from pain; they may instead need to deepen it. This is something Chögyam Trungpa talks about in Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, and I touch on it in a story I’ve just published, “The Divine Hedonism of the Mind.”

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