LSS shared with me a video in which a Buddhist teacher tells a tale of life at the retreat – I would share the link but generally avoid any internet searches that are potentially more than 15 seconds.
Superficially retelling the story, a bunch of earnest spiritual tourists paid good money to stay at the retreat and learn from the famous monk. During the day the people are given various tasks to perform, each activity made extra burdensome by an obnoxious man who is either unwilling or incapable of getting along with others.
Finally the disagreeable man has had enough and leaves the retreat. When the monk hears this he is horrified and jumps into his 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona and brings the man back.
That night a student asks the monk why he retrieved the man who brought so much disharmony and ill-will into the community. The monk whispered, “I pay him.”
There it is, the big wisdom. If you knew all the annoyances of this world were put there on purpose for your spiritual improvement would that change how you handled them?
I can say yes, but it wouldn’t necessarily make me more friendly on the highway.
But what thrills me is that this story is easily understood by the kids. Perhaps because they talk about personal development in their martial arts program their minds are open to this possibility.
In any case, the burdens are easier to bear after hearing this story – and that I might find employment at the local ashram.