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The Tender Heart

A Buddhist Response to Suffering

Venerable Yifa

Suffering is everywhere around us—from our personal experiences of illness, old age, and loss, to the public calamities of natural disasters, terrorism, and war. Buddhism has always been both honest and compassionate regarding why there is suffering in the world.

Exploring the central Buddhist concepts that life is full of suffering, everything is impermanent, and that everything in existence is connected, Venerable Yifa looks at how and why suffering occurs and how we can learn from tragedies 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 elucidates Buddhism's eight different types of suffering from a practical standpoint, illuminating the essential Buddhist ideas of compassion and mindfulness, and shows how we can apply these principles to everyday life and in our relationships. Her aim throughout is to help us to reach out, to heal others, and to protect ourselve—to safeguard our hearts—when suffering strikes.

128 pp.  
5 1/4" x 8 1/4"

Lantern Books


Published:  November 2007


Venerable Yifa is a nun belonging to the religious order Fo Guang Shan, which was founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun in Taiwan and seeks to make Buddhist practice relevant to contemporary life. Yifa lives at Hsi Lai temple in Hacienda Heights, California. Venerable Yifa is also a contributor to Benedict’s Dharma: Buddhists Reflect on the Rule of St. Benedict. See a video of Yifa here. See all books by Venerable Yifa

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