This week the Washington, DC region has experienced record-breaking low temperatures. The winter cold has been nearly unprecedented. But the cherry trees are weathering the cold just fine. The buds are still in their early states and well protected. The cherry trees grow stronger during the winter cold. We will witness their awakening over the next few weeks.
Winter is already the beginning of Spring. The bitter cold brings the beautiful buds. This same process applies to human life. Buddhism teaches that a challenge presented by hardship is not really suffering, but a departure towards a new found happiness. If you do not encounter storms of human suffering, you will grow no fresh sprouts of human happiness. Moreover, the longer the period of adversity, the stronger and heartier the life force will be fostered.
“Even if you suffer for a time, your suffering will in the end turn to delight.” (Nichiren Daishon, 13th century Japan, Reply to Ueno-dono Gosho)
Visit our Buddhist Temple
To learn more about the Buddhist view of life, happiness and hardship, visit our Temple this Sunday, February 22nd at 2:00 pm for our next Introduction to Buddhism meeting. The lecture will be on Karma. Email or call the Temple if you have any questions.
Excerpted from “Overcoming Severe Difficulties, Obstacles, and Devils” by Reverend Kotoku Obayashi.