No Problem

What would your life be like if you had no problems? And what if I suggested you that you have no problems? I don’t mean that all the tough stuff stops happening, I mean that it ceases to be a problem for you because you don’t see it as such.

How would you define the term problem? I think it is something along the lines of an unpleasant, unwanted or unexpected situation that is painful or difficult to deal with. It also carries an implicit sense that something is wrong. Maybe I think that something is wrong with me. Or I think that something is wrong with the world that delivered me up this problem.

Notice that this is all taking place in the realm of thought. Whatever the situation that we are facing, it is a coming together of causes and conditions. Just that. It is we who label it problem.

The Buddhist view is that each moment, in its arising, is immaculate, exactly what it needs to be. Our life is unfolding perfectly.

In Rev. Master Jiyu’s diary of her years in Japan, published as The Wild White Goose, there is a passage (p. 44 of the 2002 second edition) that she wrote after experiencing the beginnings of her first kensho (enlightennment experience):

The only thing I can possibly do in order to learn anything is to accept, in blind faith, everything that is happening to me, believing that it is all for my good, whatever it may be.

And there is a footnote to this, which says:

This is probably the most important sentence in the book from the point of view of someone who wishes to learn Zen.

What if you were to take the attitude that everything that happens is for your own good? Even if that seems far-fetched to you at the moment it is at least as valid a view as thinking of life’s difficult situations as problems. And doesn’t it make you feel more open instead of closed down? Doesn’t it make the whole situation more workable? I pose these questions for you to answer from your own experience, if you wish to explore this for yourself.

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2 thoughts on “No Problem

  1. Liz H

    Reverend Alicia, I thought this was simply put and brilliant, especially your reference to Master Jiyu’s writings and her footnote! Thank you.
    Liz

    Reply

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