Sadness and the Contemplative Path | Chicago

at Insight Chicago
4636 N Ravenswood Avenue
Chicago, IL

Sadness and joy can coexist.

That is the message of the sixth book by Dr. Jay Michaelson, The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path. Drawing on Jay’s fifteen years of teaching in Jewish and Buddhist communities, The Gate of Tears explores the Buddha’s insight that it is possible to know and coexist with difficult emotions, rather than repress, indulge, avoid, or attempt to banish them. Written in the period following the loss of Michaelson’s mother, The Gate of Tears is ultimately a book about happiness: the happiness that does not depend on conditions.

As a meditation teacher (now teaching jhana in the tradition of Ayya Khema and Leigh Brasington), Jay is known for conveying challenging subjects in an accessible, humorous style, and this conversation (not a reading!) promises to be just that. As both a dharma teacher (and author of 2013’s Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment) and as a public figure who regularly appears on national media, he argues for a different kind of leadership, one that embraces vulnerability and affirms our deepest humanity.

Praise for The Gate of Tears
Jay Michaelson’s incisive and exquisitely profound insights into our human condition come in full force in The Gate of Tears. A Pensees for our time, The Gate of Tears offers deep thinking about our lives that gets us thinking — and feeling. Here we have an antidote to the mindless feel-good ideology, and gentle instructions in attending to the fullness of our experience so we see the value in the downs, not just the ups. Our inner world will never seem the same.
~ Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, and A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World

The Gate of Tears is a beautifully written, transformative book. Jay Michaelson guides us, instead of denying, avoiding, explaining away or resisting sadness, to go right into the heart of it. There we find open space, true love of life, and, perhaps most redeeming, one another.
~ Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness