The Hard Way

The easy path is always so appealing. So why do I prefer the hard way? On the easy path we take things for granted. We get lazy and bored. This is a formula for trouble and loss. When we go the hard way, we know we can’t let our guard down for a moment. We have to stay alert to meet the challenges. Solving problems makes our mind keener and our character stronger. This is achievement! This is true gain!

Han Shan Deqing

 

I think everyone that sits down to meditate knows that the path isn’t easy. Bodhisattvas are sometimes called “Spiritual Warriors” and there’s a reason for this. This path is hard. We have to face reality. We have to tear down all the walls we’ve built to keep ourselves disconnected from others. We have to let go of all the lies we tell ourselves about who and what we are. We have to be authentic and willing to face the bad parts. We have to take off our armor and face the world with openness, honesty, and humility.

We live in a guarded state sometimes. We’ve all been kicked in the heart and that causes us to wrap our hearts in armor, to try to shield ourselves from the emotional vagaries of life.

What Han Shan is challenging us to do is to open our hearts, to dwell in the world with an openness toward all the people around us.

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 Daniel Scharpenburg is a meditation instructor and dharma teacher in Kansas City. He regularly gives teachings through the Open Heart Project, the largest virtual mindfulness community in the world.
Find out more about Daniel on his website 
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