Persistence Through Adversity

 ♦ Buddha Gate Monastery Sutra Study Meditation Class A

♦ Dharma name: Chuan Wen

 

Although we hope for a life of blessing in this world, adversity and suffering are inevitable. At times, it seems the best we can hope for is a life of balance between joy and sorrow. However, persistence in our practice can help us look at both blessing and adversity through a lens of calm. But this isn’t easy. I realized this when my husband came down with a sudden catastrophic illness.

        Turning away from meditation, from studying the Dharma and from attending and volunteering at the Monastery seemed justified and reasonable in times of growing stress and other demands. Therefore, instead of practicing, I devoted more time to keep up family and career responsibilities. I avoided my practice by not showing up at the Monastery. Then I started to falter, feeling stressed and making mistakes. So I tried to work harder, to make less mistakes and to run faster toward success. However, I discovered that the less time I devoted to my practice, the more stress I felt. When I tried to sit down to meditate, I couldn’t calm my monkey mind. What happened? Before it was so easy!

        Suddenly, I remembered how lucky I am. I have just the place to solve the riddle—the Monastery. Regular practice, studying the Dharma and volunteering actually calm and focus the mind so we can produce more in less time. And here’s the amazing part of all this. The more I did it, the more I wanted to do it. The more persistent effort we put towards our practice, the more energy we have. So, persist with your practice first. Keep showing up for yourselves, for each others and for all sentient beings.