A good friend recently recommended that I interview Andrew Holecek, and I am certainly glad that I did. Andrew’s new book entitled “The Power and the Pain: Transforming Spiritual Hardship into Joy” is a gift to all that read it.
In his book, Andrew directs or attention to the two key points of the Buddhist spiritual journey: suffering and the obstacles and opportunities that suffering presents us with as we try to understand and transcend it. Essentially, it is a book about the hardships of the journey that sometime takes us by surprise, and wear us down, or even discourage us from continuing. We all have been in this position, and sometimes it seems like we will never emerge from the hardship. But somehow with persistence and belief, we do.
In my interview with Andrew we discuss the the Four Nobel Truths that are articulated so clearly in the Buddhist philosophy: 1) Life means suffering 2) The origin of suffering is attachment 3) The cessation of suffering is attainable 4) The path to the cessation of suffering.
If you understand these basic truths, then you will understand that we are all going to suffer and that much of our personal suffering is due to our attachment to the material world and our beliefs about it. What is clearly available to us, but frequently we are blinded to the truth is that their is a path to the cessation of suffering.
The Buddha summarized them thus: ” I teach one thing and one thing only: suffering and the end of suffering.” Suffering is not only the overt hardship of things like disease and disaster but also the everyday experiences of dissatisfaction, anxiety, and unhappiness. If we simply open our eyes and acknowledge what we see and feel, we will discover the truth of suffering in its many guises.
If you are interested in reading a wonderfully well written book on the philosophy and paths to the end of suffering, then Andrew’s new book “The Power and the Pain” is a wonderful read. The depth of his work is transformational as well as easy to read and understand. If you would like more information about Andrew and his work, please visit his website by clicking here. Please enjoy this wonderful interview with a great author.
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