Since life is a series of ongoing challenges, how we respond to unexpected events is crucial. Do we accept such events as misfortune and give up? Do we try to avoid problems and wait for time to resolve them? Do we resent our struggles and blame them on others or on our environment? Or do we confront obstacles head-on and transform them as opportunities for further growth?

Faith can be the answer. But Jim, what is faith in Buddhism? Isn’t faith a religious think sanctioned in believing what we can’t see?
Faith/fāTH/noun – Trust or confidence in someone or something often relied upon for overcoming obstacles.

With this definition faith can be anything including faith in our own actions and being. In Buddhism this is highly touted. The purpose of our faith is to enable us to face and overcome all difficulties and challenges in life – whether problems in daily life or challenges in the realm of faith. The word obstacles in the phrase “faith for overcoming obstacles” indicates anything that prevents us from advancing in our Buddhist practice and revealing our Buddhahood.

What, then, is the key to overcoming obstacles?

The key is to create a winning state of life. This requires us to bring forth our strength, perseverance, wisdom, courage, conviction, composure and to take action. It comes down to developing the life condition to see obstacles as opportunities, as turning points, for developing our best qualities as human beings and deepening our faith. As we strive with this mindset, we can develop the abilities to remain unshaken and to keep fighting. Ultimately, winning means to never give up no matter the circumstances. From this perspective, “faith for overcoming obstacles” has two aspects:

1) Persevering and winning over each difficulty; and

2) Growing and becoming a person of outstanding character.

In addition, overcoming obstacles doesn’t simply mean having everything turn out the way we planned. In Buddhism, it means challenging those things that make us suffer or sway us in faith, and transforming them into sources that propel us more quickly toward our happiness and enlightenment.

In the face of obstacles, let’s strive to become “the wise who rejoice,” rising to each challenge with the conviction that we are becoming stronger, forging an indestructible foundation of happiness and revealing our Buddhahood. When we live in this way, we are able to inspire all those around us to strive in the same way, creating waves of hope that help advance in our days and life.

Peace and Love, Jim

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