Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Well, Sometimes it is Harder Than You Think

Sylvia Boorstein’s It’s Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness actually does the opposite of what the title states. 

Boorstein wants to illustrate the main precepts of Buddhist practice and understanding, but she also wants to show what an actual spiritual or religious life look like on the ground.  A spiritual path does not solve your problems; you will not be a completely different person after you embrace a spiritual path than before.  Buddhist practice will slow down those natural tendencies that you have.  It will give you the ability to retard your natural reactions to situations, especially those that cause pain or stress, and examine them in a differently.  

In this way, a spiritual or religious path is actually harder than we think.  We still grapple with our old selves.  We still strive to defeat our terrible impulses.  But we do so with a mirror held up to them, and the tools to try and defeat them.

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