Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 06/14/2017

Bear the Pain, Seek the Good

“Bear the bitter remedy, or remain in pain.”
—Imam Ali (AS)

This morning I was feeling a lot of remorse for having failed to live up to my own standards yesterday. Despite knowing that searing remorse is actually counter-productive if allowed to sap one’s resolve and strength I spent the first ten or so minutes just feeling the disgust and bitterness of it. But slowly, it began to dawn on me that the proximate cause of the arising of metta is to reflect on the goodness of the person to whom you’re sending it. And me, being just a person among billions of others, have done any number of good things. In fact, I try my best to fill my days with them.

Using the ten paramis as my springboard for reflection I was able to rescue the heart from its pit of despair and cultivate metta first for me and then for others. And, as hard as it can be to remember, I have to remain steadfast in my conviction that I have never failed until I actually surrender, regardless of how hard it may seem to seek good and begin again.

In short, in order to overcome the suffering it must be borne first, accepted and then it must be let go and we must rekindle our resolve to do good and do better for ourselves and all beings.


  1. No matter what kind we suffer from – may our suffering be the fuel to bring us out…


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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.