Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/24/2019

Choosing Hardship

If you’re worried that I’m turning into some kind of a sadist don’t be — I’ve just developed a fascination with the paradox of salutary hardship. In other words, I’ve been taken with the seemingly counter-intuitive way in which hardship can have an invigorating effect on one’s sense of well-being and spiritual practice. I have to say that fasting for Ramadhan has been the catalyst for this although I have long been acquainted with and inclined towards such lines of thinking although I haven’t always acted upon them. Now, however,, it seems manifestly obvious that hardship and difficulties can supercharge one’s development when embraced and held in the right way. Of course, handled sloppily and with a mind unguarded hardship and problems can easily turn on you like a poisonous serpent being handled without care.

Without hardship how could I practice patience? Without hardship how would my resolve be tested? Without hardship what would the meaning of sila (morality) be?

May we use our difficulties to our advantage and snatch the anti-venom of compassion and wisdom from their venomous maws.

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