The Essential Scripture...

Dictionary

The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Sūtra in Forty-Two Sections

Section 12

The Buddha said, “There are twenty difficulties under heaven. It is difficult for the poor to make offerings. It is difficult for the privileged to study the way. It is difficult to control one’s fate and face the certainty of death. It is difficult to have the opportunity to read Buddhist sūtras. It is difficult to be born when a Buddha is alive. It is difficult to endure lust and desire. It is difficult to see fine things and not chase after them. It is difficult to be insulted and not get angry. It is difficult to have authority and not abuse it. It is difficult to maintain no-mind when in contact with sensory objects. It is difficult to study widely and investigate deeply. It is difficult to overcome arrogance. It is difficult not to snub the unlearned. It is difficult for the mind to practice equanimity. It is difficult not to gossip about others’ good points and bad points. It is difficult to meet a spiritual mentor. It is difficult to see the nature and study the way. It is difficult to save people in an appropriate manner. It is difficult to remain unmoving in the presence of the sense spheres. It is difficult to deploy correctly expedient stratagems (upāya).”