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Coping with Sorrow: Discover the Five Protections from Buddhism

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

These protections involve cultivating gratitude, practicing mindfulness, cultivating compassion, engaging in self-care, and developing a spiritual practice. By incorporating these protections into their lives, individuals can better manage their sorrow and find greater peace and happiness.

Sorrow is an emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Whether it's the loss of a loved one, a failed relationship, or a major setback, sorrow can be a difficult emotion to overcome. However, in Buddhism, there are five protections against sorrow that can help individuals cope with this emotion.



The first protection against sorrow is to cultivate gratitude. Gratitude involves recognizing the good things in one's life and being thankful for them. By focusing on the positive aspects of one's life, individuals can shift their attention away from their sorrow and towards the things they are grateful for. This can help them develop a more positive outlook and reduce the intensity of their sorrow.


The second protection against sorrow is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment and paying attention to one's thoughts and feelings without judgment. By practicing mindfulness, individuals can develop greater awareness of their emotions and thoughts, which can help them better understand and manage their sorrow.


The third protection against sorrow is cultivating compassion. Compassion involves feeling empathy and concern for others as well as oneself. By cultivating compassion, individuals can develop greater emotional resilience and empathy for others who may be experiencing similar emotions.


The fourth protection against sorrow is to engage in self-care. Self-care involves taking care of oneself physically, mentally, and emotionally. This can involve activities such as exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, and engaging in hobbies and interests. By taking care of oneself, individuals can reduce stress and improve their overall well-being, which can help them cope with their sorrow.

The fifth and final protection against sorrow is to develop a spiritual practice. This can involve following a particular religious tradition or engaging in spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, or mindfulness. By developing a spiritual practice, individuals can cultivate a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives, which can help them find comfort and solace in difficult times.


In conclusion, sorrow is an emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. However, in Buddhism, there are five protections against sorrow that can help individuals cope with this emotion. These protections involve cultivating gratitude, practicing mindfulness, cultivating compassion, engaging in self-care, and developing a spiritual practice. By incorporating these protections into their lives, individuals can better manage their sorrow and find greater peace and happiness.

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About Andrew

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At the age 17, through the guidance of his older brother Chris, he discovered the path of Buddhism. His journey with the practice has taken him across oceans and deep within himself. As a Zen bodhisattva, he works towards helping others find their own path without reward.

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