Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 12/17/2020

Meeting Adversity with a Smile

I’ve been reflecting quite bit on the need to develop a will so strong that only death will separate it from its end. Of course, my ultimate inspiration is Lord Buddha’s declaration under the Bodhi tree that he would not relent until he had attained liberation although I have very far to go before I feel I could make a similar asseveration.

Be that as it may, I have been coming to appreciate the power of will and the necessity of developing it to the degree that, once set on its resolve, it becomes unshakeable. Of course, the issue then becomes ensuring that one’s goals are properly set but that’s where samma-ditthi (Right View) comes in.

Yesterday I watched the series Alone as part of my commitment to learn more survival skills and I came to realize that mind set had as much to do with survival as bushcraft skills. Until one’s spirit is broken there is almost no limit to what the body an endure. As a case in point, one of the contestants, Callie, somehow managed put forth joyous effort, laugh and smile as she wasted away and her toes began to blacken from frostbite. In many ways her example speaks of a deeper strength than any of the others I saw on the show and is something to be emulated. In fact, I am reminded of somethig Ajahn Jayasaro said (Iif I recall correctly) regarding metta and those who stay in the robes; in others, if it is all joyless effort and striving then it is unlikely that such bhikkhus will remain in the robes.

May I always meet pain and difficulty with a smile. May my spirits be buoyed by gratitude and my I always meet adversity with good cheer.

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Shillelagh Studies

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