The human body is fragile; in our lives, pain and illness are inevitable. The Buddha himself, although he spoke unceasingly of the mental freedom he experienced, was no exception: he clearly lived with a degree of physical discomfort, especially toward the end of his life. This month, join Vidyamala Burch, ordained in the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1995, who has lived with severe chronic spinal pain for 40 years following injuries resulting in partial paraplegia in her teens. Drawing on central Buddhist texts, Vidyamala will uncover the key to the Buddha’s mental freedom and provide pointers for living with ease, even when the body is hurting.

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