It is sometimes difficult to see and understand that changing conditions are not mistakes. They feel that way because we sometimes think that if we were only smart enough or careful enough, we could avoid all unpleasantness—that we wouldn’t fall ill or have misfortune. In fact, we usually haven’t done anything wrong. It’s just what happens. The Buddha talked of the eight great vicissitudes of life: pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, and fame and disrepute. These changes happen to everyone. It’s just what happens. One of the great laws of the Dharma that I find myself often rediscovering is, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
–Joseph Goldstein, from One Dharma