Home » Features » Will Dharma Learning & Practice Create Obstacles?

The cause of right Dharma
learnt gives rise to
the effect of right Dharma
practised and realised.

– Shilashanti

Is it so, that with when we are keen to learn and practise the Buddha’s teachings (i.e. the Buddha Dharma), there will be obstacles? The direct answer is that it is not always so. We can know this with simple observation of our own experiences. If obstacles will always arise, we will be challenged when reading every word of every page of every Dharma book, even unable to properly recite the shortest name of any Buddha. This is clearly not the case… unless one’s karma is extremely negative, while there are also no sincere efforts to overcome it.

Thus, whether there are obstacles or not depends on one’s karma. However, it is not due to Dharma learning and practice, that there are obstacles, as these obstacles that discourage Dharma learning and practice are from other causes. With the Dharma being pure, no evil or harm can arise from learning and practising it. Only good and purity will arise. If the Dharma surely gives rise to suffering, it would be pointless to even share or learn it. Possible causes that obstruct Dharma learning and practice include having obstructed others from doing so.

Whatever the actual causes, what should we do then, when being obstructed? There is only one path to take – to continue Dharma learning and practice. There must be more learning, including of the Dharma in this article, and there must be even more sincere and diligent practice. Always bear in mind what is true cause and effect. Dharma learning and practice eradicates obstacles; they do not create them. Meanwhile, it is the lack of Dharma learning and practice, or even going against them, that creates these obstacles. Due to its merits, practice will only lessen and not intensify obstacles. Without practice, karmic obstacles will remain unmitigated, or even be magnified in time.

Obstacles are not the end
of the worthy spiritual path.
Obstacles are inevitable parts
of the worthy spiritual path.

– Shilashanti

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