Forgiving your sister’s murderer, meditating at Auschwitz, coming to terms with your parent’s disintegration, facing illness or chronic pain – can we see the many faces of suffering as opportunities to turn towards our fears and soften our hearts? All the writers in the book have needed to ask themselves that question. They describe what can happen when we stop complaining or distracting ourselves from our suffering and face it directly. What we can gain includes joy, forgiveness, compassion, contentment, courage and a greater connection with other people. The practice of turning towards experience – whatever shape it takes – is what the moving personal stories in “Challenging Times” are all about.