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How do you deal with adversity and utilize it to enhance your Spirituality?

It is crucial to know when it is appropriate to withdraw our attention from things that disturb our mind. However, if the only way we know how to deal with certain objects is to avoid them, there will be a severe limit as to how far our spiritual practice can take us.
-Lama Thubten Yeshe, “Introduction to Tantra”
Namaste
Peace and Love

11 COMMENTS

  1. Ooooh! Adversity! It seems to be everywhere! Well, for me I have just accepted it as part of my life. I move through it, knowing that it is not permanent, I continue to pray and have faith. When I get through it, I go “Phew!” and give thanks! When I am in the midst of it, I say to myself, “Life is pain.” These painful lessons have so much to teach us. Failure and pain bring humility, compassion and understanding for others. Through the experience of horrible times in our lives, we can trully connect with others and know in what ways to serve them to relieve their suffering.

  2. I have learned; for every challenge/problem there is a corresponding perspective from which to view it(or not). Each problem comes with its own solution and by adopting the appropriate point of view, we can see the solution beneath, between, behind or within it.
    —–This in itself enhances my spirituality and frees my attention, which allows me to focus on my other disciplines, which then improves my problem solving skills even more, which then adds to my other abilities even more, which then…ad infinitum…

  3. My experience is that if it wasn’t for adversity as an integral part of my life together with every other type of experience in my life, my spirituality will not thrive at all.
    Good and bad are all intertwined and are mutually inclusive. Discovering or not discovering the balance determins your reward or your unreward – or damnation perhaps?
    Everything is always in tension. I find that the YIN and Yang symbol so evocative. Two equal halfs one black the other white and in the black side one finds a small white dot and on the white side there is a black dot. This is as if to say that even from the deepest darkness one can find a way into the light and visa versa one can be in the brightest of light and could still end up in darkness.
    In life one has to learn how to handle emotions too. These can be a source of great disturbance for us but they have their value too because through living with them we gain our wisdom.

  4. In Lamas-tic, religion which is a branch and a higher branch of the Buddhist religion, Lamas deal with adversity by meditating, as to achieve the meditation state, and concentrate in something more positive, this to do so.
    I’m Catholic, and in the same way, I achieved this meditative stage, and not ye t an state to pursue something more positive, but adversely, I prey and I drown, my self and my mind in prayers, so I can achieved that meditative stage, in which I know Jesus will come and will give me the answers I need to make everything, or try to make things a lot more positive.

  5. There’s an early Buddhist discourse that spells it out in just about the same way you do / the Lama does.
    I guess if you can’t avoid the adversity, you’d have no choice, but one would probably be a fool to seek it for its own sake.
    The Buddha does say that dealing with adversity can bring about the development of the (spiritual) faculties, and does so well.
    It’s called ‘Appamaada’ – Diligence.
    In my view it’s not an easy thing to get on top of, and probably has some specific interpretations in Buddhism too, (e.g. about being a ‘middle path’, needing to be balanced & properly / wholesomely / ethically directed, fairly ‘renunciatively’ & discerningly – to some extent).
    In essence it’s equally applicable to anyone.
    “What doesn’t ‘kill’ us, only makes us stronger”.
    Good question, Digilook.
    Regards,
    A. R.

  6. adversity is sent to you to test your spirit I think
    to try and strengthen it like the wind blows at the tree the tree that bows to the wind lives to see another day
    its important to embrace change and see it through and it will bring you to many rewards

  7. Our perceptions guide our thoughts, our thoughts guide our intentions, our intentions guide our actions and our actions through our choices determine the Consequences thereof. Our Karma determines our present circumstances and therefore we can determine our own future happiness by what we do right now, each moment, each choice.
    Our choices in any moment whether that moment be percieved as good, bad or neither good nor bad remain choices and the moment itself however perceived will be only a moment, impermanent.
    Some experience will be perceived as bad, lasting and Permanent. I have experienced such. I have worked as a prison guard, at one time dealing with a number of suicide attempts, 6 in all in the space of 8 months. The first one was a “successful one”, I arrived 15 minutes too late and having need to answer to a Coroner’s Court for my Actions during the event. This period of worry lasted over 7 long months with the real threat of possible jail time myself over the possibility of perceived lack of Duty of Care to the victim. In the meantime 5 more, these others “unsuccessful”, the victims still in the process of dying. I had to save them, all the time they, screaming for my own death and trying to actively make it so. I admit that I was under stress for some time, nearly 8 months in all at that time and it was not easy to go to work every day, not easy at all, yet I did, I faced it every day.
    How then did I deal with it. At the time it felt like a never ending saga which would eventually consume me with worry and permanent insanity. Yet it passed, it was impermanent and eventually I received a comendation for my dilligence and confidence. The inmates were keeping score with daily comments interestingly some were actually complimentary which actually annoyed the other guards. All impermanent. I did worry at the time, I did suffer at the time, I did receive the commendation and now it is long over. I do not cling to the feelings I had, nor do I cling to the commendation, in fact I have hidden it.
    I did not turn away from the events and can recall them with ease for reference in later such experience for I have learned what I am capable of under extreme circumstances and under prolonged stress, In my mind I simply allowed the experiences to be what they are, hurtful and nasty yet in essence just an experience. It does not hurt to remember these experiences, they are part of who I am. I just do not cling to them.
    I have since learned that all experience is thus.
    Peace from a Buddhist.

  8. Its generally said that man turms to God only at the adverse times.
    But, yes, those times make our belief firm and prove to us as a test. It’s not that turning to God makes the situation positive. But, by accepting the situation, trying to overcome it and leaving the outcome onto Him is a real test and that’s what enhances our spirituality.

  9. learn form all that life has to give you just with the bad there is always something to learn or that you missed first time round ,everything we do see hear feel is a little lesson that brings out the positives form the negatives,the trick is infact its not a trick just look harder to see the message there.

  10. Has anyone heard about the ‘Universal law of Attraction’ (have you read ‘The Secret’?)- basically is states that like states attract each other – or you attract to yourself what you desire. You might think this is wrong because – why would you attract undesirable things or things opposite to what you think you want.
    I would like to add that i interpret it this way – Like ‘beingness’ attract like ‘beingness’. You are not always who or what you think you are. We camoflage ourselves so well – fitting into what society expects us to be in order to survive and be loved, that we fool even ourselves. All the ideas and thoughts and judgements of others/family/friends/leaders we have downloaded into our minds since we were born. So – on one level, we say we want something (positive) and on a much deeper unconscious level we are believing ‘i don’t deserve this really’.( negative)
    And because what you believe is true (for you) – guess what! you get the opposite of what you think you wanted.
    Then the question you might ask yourself is this, How might i change my thoughts and beliefs about myself into positive values and hence attract the positive things in life? This question leads us on, to uncover the truth of who we really are – the path of awareness and self discovery – some might say our own spiritual journey to find the greater meaning of life.
    Fears are a funny thing – keep running from them, and they keep chasing you, but – stand up and face up to them and they disappear.
    By withdrawing attention from a fear are you really saying ‘ i know i have this fear and i don’t want to see it now’?
    It goes away for now – but will keep returning until the time is right for you to choose to face it – this occurs at exactly the right time. Remember only ‘adversity’ can delivers the situation where a fear can be faced . Fears are the cause of adversity – created through our beliefs.

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