Our world can feel as though it’s moving very fast. We can feel immense pain and suffering in the middle of it. Many of us try to run even faster to avoid that pain, but one of the ways to become familiar with pain and overcome suffering is to stand still in it.

I’ve been meditating since I was 23 years old, but it was on and off for a long time. In 2015, my mom introduced me to books by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and soon afterward, meditation became part of my daily practice. At that time, I was in Minnesota, so I was able to visit Mingyur Rinpoche’s American Buddhist center, Tergar, in Minneapolis, and later attend a couple of retreats and talks by him.

My practice has only grown through the years, through the thick and thin and ups and downs of life. I’ve continued learning, reading other books by the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chödrön, Chögyam Trungpa, Sogyal Rinpoche, Shantideva, Dzigar Kongtrul, and many other Buddhist practitioners. They all continue to share a similar message: everyone wants to be happy and no one wants to suffer.

This is a copper alloy statue of Buddha from the late 6th century, most likely from Bihar, India. I got to see it at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

It’s amazing how helpful it can be to remember this message and to remember that you are never the only one. You are not alone in your suffering or desire for happiness. We all share so much. All beings. What a beautiful thing.