More Reflections of the Dhamma
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The reflections presented here are the offspring of the author's own silence and slow time in caves, forest monasteries and countless retreats. Those practicing meditation may find refreshment, joy and a challenge to apply their practice in daily life; others may find an observant and empathetic voice in these lines.
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What are called the five hindrances or the five enemies: craving and aversion, agitation and sloth & torpor, and ever-arising doubts. They arise not only in the purification of meditation, but also in integrating our practice and insights into everyday life. But that is just one side of the coin. The fact that hindrances are arising are symptoms that our efforts are working and purification is happening. If we were relaxed in front of a computer or TV, these symptoms would not arise.
Be aware when these ambivalent paradoxes arise, and with right effort you will progress, Ian reminds us.
When facing these "enemies," as Ian poetically says, "Shaking hands with the devil loosens his grip."
Let's end with a poem taken from the back cover of the book:
Firstly everything is dissatisfactory.
If you think poverty is fraught with suffering,
If you think being married is full of difficulties,
try being single.
If you think unemployment is challenging,
try being a CEO.
If living in the city causes you grief,
try living in the forest.
If living in a house unveils too many surprises,
try living on the streets.
If your disease is challenging,
try another, more pleasurable one.
If you think being alone is miserable,
try moving in with your family.
The exit sign flashes red
but the theatre is empty.