“In our daily life, we might think, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing to be like Chenrezik?’ and then make efforts to become someone on the mahayana path and turn into a bodhisattva. Though we might try hard to embody these ideals, we have deep-seated habits and a powerful ignorance that work against us, so we are continually defeated and victory is elusive. In the beginning of practicing Dharma, we want it to go well and we are happy to meditate. But gradually as time passes, we often become distracted, and so it is difficult to achieve our goal.
“At the start, we think it will be easy, but as we actually engage in meditation, it turns out to be more difficult than we had thought, so we worry. ‘It’s too difficult. I’m not up to this. It’s only for people with high realization and refined awareness.’ If we have such thoughts, we shouldn’t pay too much attention to them. No matter what work we may do, sometimes we will succeed and sometimes not. That is just the way things are.
“When we are practicing the Dharma, one of the most important things is that we have a deep-seated confidence in ourselves and our practice. No matter how often we might fail, the courage of our Dharma practice gives us the confidence to try again. We can be inspired, thinking ‘I’m going to succeed. I will make it happen.’ No matter how many problems we might have, we do not get discouraged, thinking ‘It’s just not working,’ but we simply continue to make an effort. Why? Not just this lifetime, but from beginningless time, we have been dealing with difficulties. When we remember this simple fact, having a rough time will not make us downhearted. We can motivate ourselves to keep going, knowing that like before, even if we have problems, we can eventually succeed.
“From another perspective, having difficulties is a sign that we are making an effort. If we were not trying to do something, there would be no problems. When they arise, it means that we are on the road to accomplishing some objective, so we need not feel despondent, but see these complications as part of a larger picture.”
Karmapa Teaches on the Practice of Chenrezik