In 2000, incapacitating headaches nearly destroyed my career. I suffered from the pain and, even more, from my outrage over the pain. My experiences with all but one of the doctors I consulted were disastrous. Their only response to the pain was to prescribe pills, which changed my personality and drained all my intellectual and emotional energy. One wise doctor recommended meditation....

Buddhist teachings and daily meditation empowered me to heal the suffering caused by both my physical and emotional pain. The pain, once my brutal enemy, became my best teacher, inviting me to let go of the suffering and the image of myself as a victim. As I have learned, so can you also learn to reexamine your experiences with suffering and pain and eventually to embrace your life with equanimity, gratitude, and joy.

As I discovered, Buddhist teachings also provide a new lens for reading the Hebrew Bible, which yields fresh insights into fundamental questions of birth and death, ego and enlightenment, sickness and health — insights that speak in surprisingly relevant ways to spiritual seekers and to those who want to heal themselves.

Included in Blinding Pain, Simple Truth:

About the Author

Richard S. Ellis is a professor of mathematics and an adjunct professor of Judaic studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has published and taught courses in mathematics, literature, and Bible studies and has extensive experience with Buddhist meditation.


Praise for Blinding Pain, Simple Truth

“Not just another book about alternative healing, this is also a very well-written textbook about how and why the alternative process Ellis chose actually worked....”

Anna Jedrziewski,
Retailing Insight magazine

“... an intriguing blend of Buddhist insight meditation and a fascinating interpretation of key Hebrew Bible passages....”

Joseph Goldstein,
author of A Heart Full of Peace
and One Dharma

“... Delicious for the intellect, nourishing for the soul.”

Shinzen Young,
author of The Science of Enlightenment
and Break Through Pain

“... All who read this book will be enriched by Richard’s witness.”

–Father Bruce Teague,
Our Lady of the Valley Church,
Sheffield, MA

“Richard Ellis's close account of his struggle with physical pain opens up very useful insights into the nature of suffering and the role of the ego in prolonging it....”

Rodger Kamenetz,
author of The Jew in the Lotus

“... The book describes a path of transformation: how people focused on achievement and control can discover a new way of being, based on insight and love....”

–Dr. Arnon Rolnick,
Ben Gurion University, Israel

“... I recommend this book highly to anyone seeking help with intractable physical, emotional, or spiritual pain.”

Kenneth Talan, M.D.,
author of the award-winning book,
Help Your Child or Teen Get Back on Track

“... a mindful and wholehearted exploration of the nature of pain, suffering, and healing that reveals surprising discoveries of simple, yet challenging pathways to equanimity....”

–Ted Slovin, Ph.D.,
former member of the BOD of the Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA; psychologist

“... Richard Ellis’s own personal journey demonstrates how each of us has within ourselves the ability to understand the inner places that loudly cry out for our attention....”

Gary D. Conrad,
author of The Lhasa Trilogy and Oklahoma Is Where I Live

“An extraordinary odyssey through pain to enlightenment and relief. ... [This book] is ... a primer for the way to a mindful existence and the deeply felt life of the moment for all of us. A remarkable achievement and deserving of classic status.”

–Haim B. Gunner,
Emeritus Professor, Environmental Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst