On dealing with challenges in life -sutta and advice from Buddha

I’m looking for some guidance from the Buddha or dhamma where if one is dealing with bad luck, sickness, dealing with criticism, and negative people, and many life challenges in life perhaps feeling the misfortune is overwhelming one’s mind state, how can one deal with them, what kind of practices or things should one do.


There are so many ways to address this question, and it is hard to say what would be most helpful. It really depends on what the person desires otherwise from such broad misfortune. What I mean is, such a person could simply want a humble alternative to their current circumstances, whereas another may be deeply haunted by a lack of, sensual pleasures, wealth, prosperity and happiness.

It may seem obvious, on a Buddhist forum, to advise any person to follow the eightfold path to be truly free of suffering, but if someone is constantly nurturing desire of sensual pleasures, the eightfold path is not going to seem like a relevant solution. So, I would encourage the person to reflect on what they want in life, and that would give them a better idea of whether or not the Buddha has anything to offer.

If you are able to specify what type of life is ideal, perhaps there would be more to offer.

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Thank you for your response. I’m on the path, and am practicing and training in the 4 noble truth, and eight noble path to the best of my understanding, although, it is a journey and ai have yet perfect it. I believe my question perhaps was not clear and so I use this opportunity to clarify my question.

When one is sick, did the Buddha shared what encouragement, reasons of being sick and also what specific things to do to reduce the mental pain, I’m aware of the second arrow, but perhaps there are more suttas I don’t know that provides food for the soul on this path.

Similarly for bad luck, encountering negativity, and the ills of the mind. Perhaps at a difficult time in my life that I wish for some words from the Buddha for comfort and direction and hope.

Much appreciated

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I realised perhaps this is not a Q&A question as it does not seem as straight forward as it seems. I will redirect this to another topic

Here are some suttas (talks, etc) I’ve compiled that may help:


Making the division between conventional and ultimate reality effects separation regarding the actions of the uninstructed ordinary person in general. See the section on Effacement in Majjhima Nikaya 8. Effacement means reducing conventional reality to the level of insignificance; it has a limited authority less than ultimate reality, and this has to be tested by the individual practitioner by putting faith in the dhamma through trying situations. Eventually understanding will be developed and patience plays a part until situations play out in full, there is a tendency to react too early, this is known as ‘the bait’. This is the power of the dhamma which can be known and seen.

“the Dhamma is visible in the here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.”

Anguttara Nikaya 6.47

The layperson living in conventional reality has the great opportunity to understand samsara and develop detachment. The Buddha and the arahants have developed that skill:

“Citta, these are the world’s designations, the world’s expressions, the world’s ways of speaking, the world’s descriptions, with which the Tathagata expresses himself but without grasping to them.”

—Digha Nikaya 9

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In such circumstances, I always find the Buddha’s last words heartening…

SN6.15 / DN16
“Come now, mendicants, I say to you all:

‘Conditions fall apart. Persist with diligence.’”

These were the Realized One’s last words.


One may just repeat the words with meaning:

This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self (n’etam mana, n’eso 'ham asmi, na m’eso attā ti). Nothing is belonging to my self.


Dear Noone-is-here,

I’m totally with you on this one. Life is tough, but there is lots of love out there :blush::heart:.

There are soooo many Suttas that have helped me, this one came to mind though…

Lokavipatti Sutta: The Failings of the World

Dutiyalokadhammasutta—Bhikkhu Sujato
Here on Sutta Central

Enjoy, and I hope these Suttas can inspire you :pray:


Much appreciate the compilation of suttas.
So far I really enjoyed the following: (still going through all of your suttas! )

AN 4.164 Khama Sutta:
Tolerant - the 4 modes of practice. Intolerant practice, tolerant practice, self controlled practice and ,even practice

AN 10.68 Dutiyanaḷakapāna Sutta:
At Naḷakapāna
10 qualities
Whoever has faith, conscience, prudence, energy, and wisdom; who wants to listen, memorizes the teachings, examines their meaning, and practices accordingly, and is diligent when it comes to skillful qualities can expect growth, not decline, in skillful qualities, whether by day or by night.

AN 9.3 Meghiya Sutta:
With Meghiya
a mendicant grounded on these five things should develop four further things. They should develop the perception of ugliness to give up greed, love to give up hate, mindfulness of breathing to cut off thinking, and perception of impermanence to uproot the conceit ‘I am’.


The eight worldly winds are indeed good to contemplate, thank you!

Pain arises. He reflects, ‘Pain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.’ He discerns it as it actually is.

He does not welcome the arisen pleasure, or rebel against the arisen pain. As he thus abandons welcoming & rebelling, he is released from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is released, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

“This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing factor between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person.”


Oh! You’re most welcome! :grin: Glad to hear someone is actually reading them! :grin:

Yeah, those three are especially beautiful, right? I do love the AN! So practical :blush:


Really wonderful you have distilled the key phrases for quick glance of what a particular Sutta is about! I can see there are many other wonderful readings on this website! Definitely am going to go through a few more after ai checked out the rest of the compilations. Lastly I wanted to thank you for pointing out perhaps there might be a lack of right effort in situations outlined above. All the suttas has been very inspiring, proving guidance and energy as well. Gratitude to your sharing :pray:


2 posts were split to a new topic: Difference between conventional reality and ultimate reality

In the beginning I saw Dhamma as something that would protect me from sickness, pains, misfortune.

But at some moment, and this is ongoing, i saw that all this hope and desires only causes suffering and drains positive energy. I clearly saw that the mind is endlessly involved in judging this as bad (illness, loss, decay, pain, death, things breaking down, critque) and judging that as good (health, no pain, no problems, things functioning, respect, being honoured etc).

Does it help? Does it end stress, anxiety, fears, tension, darkness?


Namo Buddhaya!

When experiencing the lows of life i recommend reflecting on the fact that these are the drawbacks of sensual pleasures & existence in general. It is essentially due to our infatuation with sensual pleasure & living that we find ourselves in this foul predicament.

Furthermore i recommend reflecting on the fact that this is not the first time we find ourselves in such predicament, rather we have suffered through this & worse, a countless amount of times during the beginningless course of transmigation.

Furthermore i recommend reflecting on the fact that we are here reaping the fruits of our actions, getting exactly what we deserve, and that whatever good or bad deeds we do, that will be our judge, refuge & inheritance.

Furthermore i recommend reflecting on impermanence, the impermanence of feelings & perceptions, the impermanence of the body, the impermanence of youth, the impermanence of health, the impermanence of posessions & relations.

I’d recommend a suitable conversation & study but you seem to be doing this already.

These are things taught by the Buddha and recommended by me.


Sharing: Still Flowing Water: talk by Ven. LP Chah

If you can do anything to control the dukkha (such as sickness), you do not need to worry; if you are unable to control it, you do not need to worry either.

This is because nothing is belonging to my self: “This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self” (n’etam mana, n’eso 'ham asmi, na m’eso attā ti).

Dukkha, being not real, arises by causal condition (nidāna); having arisen it ceases completely by causal condition. It is a result of previous action, but there is no doer (anatta).

Cf. SA 335:
Pages 95-6 from The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism Choong Mun-keat 2000.pdf (155.3 KB)

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New thread please! cc @moderators


Moved to a new thread, thanks for informing us. :anjal: