Lion's Roar

21ST CENTURY SAMSARA

IT’S WHY WE PRACTICE

KAREN MAEZEN MILLER

I live in samsara. Here, migrant children are taken from their parents at the border and housed in cages. Destruction of the world’s rainforests threatens thousands of species. Economists say homelessness could grow by forty-five percent as a result of unemployment during the global pandemic. And at the grocery store, two people cut in front of me at the checkout and I seethe in irritation at the offense.

Samsara is the world of ceaseless suffering. It is propelled by the greed and anger arising from the delusion that we are separate from everyone and everything around us. The ruinous effects of samsara are so vast as to appear beyond any individual’s reach or repair, but the cause of samsara can be intimately known through our practice. Indeed, the cause must be known by you before the world you live in can change.

As Buddha taught,

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