Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 05/28/2019

True Dharma Practitioners Welcome Trouble by Lama Yeshe

If you’re not tested, you take teaching after teaching and think you’re OK, but when you’re confronted with a difficult situation, it’s possible that you’ll find you’re not OK at all. So that’s why true Dharma practitioners welcome trouble. It gives them a chance to see if what they’ve been studying works or not, a chance to transform suffering into happiness. Otherwise you just go blithely along, completely out of touch with reality, thinking you’re OK when you’re not, because you haven’t actually been practicing Dharma at all.

To put this another way, painful situations are a source of wisdom. How so? First of all, painful situations arise as a result of nonvirtuous karma. When we experience pain we should ask why is this happening to me? How has this come about? That sort of inquiry leads us to understand that it’s the ripening of negative karma we created in the past. That basic understanding can grow into wisdom; the painful experience helps us develop a deeper understanding that is beyond the merely intellectual.


  1. Hi. Is the result of nonvirtuous karma the painful situation that happens to us? Or is the result of nonvirtuous karma our unskillful reaction to the completely random bad situation that happened to us?

    • Adrián,

      In my understanding it is our intentional thought, word or deed which is the akusala kamma but I’m sure repeated mental and verbal akusala kamma ripen in ignorance which further our downward spiral. Then again, I haven’t seen it for myself so take it with a grain of salt.

  2. Hi, thank you. I am struggling with this concept… I just can’t understand how my current intentional actions could affect the future arrangement of events, things, and beings to allow favourable or non-favourable situations to arise in the life of a completely different person many lifetimes away from me, a person that is only connected with me trough karma, something that Buddha didn’t explain by consistently refusing to answer the question: what remains after death that gets reborn?

    The only thing that remotely resembles an answer, more like a hint really, I have ever come across is in MN 49:
    “Consciousness without surface, endless, radiant all around, has not been experienced through the earthness of earth… the liquidity of liquid… the fieriness of fire… the windiness of wind… the allness of the all.'”

    Also footnote 9 here:

    It is very hard for me to take anything on faith.

    All the best Mike! Adrian

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