Do You Have Any More Excuses?

Some are simultaneously
busy and lazy –
busy making excuses
for being lazy.

Stonepeace | Get Books

In the Sigalovada Sutta, the Buddha spoke of six common excuses, that especially the young might give due to addiction to being idle. One might not work, claiming that the weather is too cold or hot, that the time is too late or early, that the body is too hungry or full. As a result, duties are left undone, and new wealth do not accrue while the existing wastes away with time and opportunities. Sounds familiar? Even if we do not use these excuses all the time, there is a high chance that we use some of them occasionally! However, if conditions above are seen as trivial, thus doing what ought to be done, there will be happiness.

While the above is in terms of living a fruitful worldly life, it also equally applies as the right attitude for having a fulfilling spiritual life. We just need to think of the ‘work’ as the spiritual work of cultivating our body, speech and mind in the Threefold Training of morality, concentration and wisdom towards enlightenment. Just as we work regularly to sustain our physical life, we should keep up with our daily Dharma practice sessions, regular classes and retreats to further our spiritual life. Exactly because there are imperfect and distracting worldly conditions in life, we need to practise despite them, so as to conquer them for advancement towards spiritual perfection.

If we reflect more deeply, we will realise that it is seldom such that the weather, time and body are perfectly ideal for both worldly and spiritual work. This is precisely why we should simply just do the worthy anyway. If not, spiritual wealth that we can accumulate in terms of merits and wisdom, precious time in terms that is life itself, and opportunities in terms of karmic affinity with the Dharma might dissipate faster than expected. What we do not treasure can naturally fade away. Thus should there be a sense of urgency to practise despite any ‘obstacles’. The truth is, nothing obstructs us other than our procrastination and laziness. Even negative karma is to be overcome!

Some are simultaneously
busy and lazy –
busy with the non-essential
while lazy with the essential.

Stonepeace | Get Books


  • Yes, i agreed fully the rewards will go with the efforts that you have put in.

  • Such is similar to muscle memory. If we continue to practice certain habits and endeavors, they become such an integral part of daily life that we almost crave them. I think there’s a really great point to be made in the statement that things dissipate faster than expected. Physically, yes, but also academically. It’s much more difficult to begin again than to continually pursue. Like running, for instance. If you stop, it is a feat to pick up again and often people just give up. But if you continued to run (even as little as ten minutes a day) you’re still getting the exercise. The shape of one’s mentality can be seen as the same.

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