“The highest offering to the Buddha is not to worship something reminiscent of the Buddha. Rather, it is to inherit the Buddha’s spirit. In other words, the highest offering lies in struggling to manifest, as one’s own way of life, even a part of the spirit of the Buddha, who upheld the philosophy that everyone is a Buddha and tirelessly strove to save all from suffering.” -Daisaku Ikeda in Buddhism Day By Day
The process of developing a Buddhist practice (or any spiritual practice for that matter) can be likened to a spiritual workout. This is because as an individual develops and engages in their practice, they enter into a process of change. How does this work? Well, our Buddhist practice becomes a way to transform our lives on a fundamental level. When this happens, resistance naturally occurs. We know life is full of hardships and obstacles. These challenges serve as the resistance we encounter to improve the direction of our lives. Their source can be internal or external in nature, but just as lifting weights creates the resistance needed to build stronger muscles, the obstacles we encounter through our practice become the resistance we need to build our inner muscles. When we engage in this spiritual workout, we gradually develop and increase our wisdom, compassion, and general life force. As a result, we become better equipped to face life’s challenges and our fears head on with gumption, know how, and grit. It is a learning process that develops over time where we gradually overcome ignorance and negativity, realize the true value of our lives and the lives of others. It is through this struggle or spiritual workout that we are able to inherit the Buddha’s spirit. (Buddhist Concepts, “Faith for Overcoming Obstacles”, Living Buddhism, September 2014)
Through this lens, everyday is a spiritual workout to develop and become your best! How will you exercise your inner muscles today?