If you heard Lama Zangmo last November spelling out the 4 noble truths of Buddhism, you would have heard her talk about the first noble Truth which the Buddha discovered. This is the Truth of waking up to the pain or misery which accompanies life. This realisation, she said was the start of developing compassion. This has to be tested, you have to test it yourself to find out if it is valid. Luckily most of us find it out slowly because life also offers us a taste of bliss and a glimpse of heaven. Somehow when you begin to see the double nature of life you then have to work out a way of negotiating this apparent contradiction of it being able to give bliss but in the same measure to be full of pain and misery. You have to sort this contradiction out and and make it as good as you can. If you click on her name, you will hear her lay this out simply and happily. You can see that whatever she has realised, it has given her a great happiness which shines out from her face. So, what has she taught me or in what way has what she said made sense of whatever pain might hove into my life? This is a work in progress because it goes against the grain not to complain of any pain we might feel. This is what I have found to be most helpful when I am stuck. I have to take a good look at the pain, hold it right up to the light and then think about another person's difficulty and say to myself, is this pain that they have worse than mine and I can say for absolute certainty that I mostly find their pain is most likely much worse than mine. What the whole exercise does is to sharpen you up and make you realise how many very courageous people there are out there and what they can teach you. Make your OUCH into something beautiful, it may take time but it will be worth it. You see it in her face and maybe one day in mine and one day in yours.