The horrific events of September 11, 2001—when two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, another into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and a fourth in a field in Pennsylvania—were stark reminders of the tenets central to the Buddhist conception of existence: that life is full of suffering, that everything is impermanent, and that everything in existence is connected.
Buddhist nun Venerable Yifa explores these fundamental ideas by studying in detail what happened that day, the causes and effects of what occurred from a spiritual perspective, and how we can learn from the tragedy to access even deeper spiritual truths. In the process of this examination, Yifa reveals the Buddhist perspective on the nature of suffering, the meaning of justice, what is evil and what is good, and why some people die and others live.
Yifa then elucidates Buddhism’s eight different types of suffering from a practical standpoint, illuminating the essential Buddhist ideas of compassion and mindfulness and showing how we can apply these principles to everyday life and in our relationships. Her aim throughout is to help us both reach out to and heal others and protect ourselves—to safeguard our hearts—when suffering strikes.