We’re briefly in Melbourne next week teaching on the topic of “Epic Fail: Disappointment as a Path to Happiness.” Anyone who has actually tried to improve themselves spiritually knows what failure looks and feels like. In fact, the only way not to fail is not try at all — or to make such feeble efforts that there’s no risk of not succeeding.
A true spiritual warrior is really going for it and is, correlatively, regularly not making it. But he or she is also not giving up, knowing that there’s nothing else more important in life to be doing. When such a spiritual gladiator loses a round to one or another of the 80,000 mental afflictions, they get back up, dust themselves off, and get back into the “rage in the cage,” bloodied but unbowed.
After months on the road this past summer, I found myself getting very tired and, as a result, short on patience. Patience has never been my strong suit, and when I’m exhausted (or hungry!) I am very vulnerable to my own personal biggest enemy — anger. And then I lose my patience, anger wins the smack down, and the failure can, I regret to say, sometimes indeed be “epic.”
How can we take such epic failures and disappointments with ourselves as teachings, and thus take them into our path to happiness? That will be the subject of the talks in Melbourne. Hope you can come if you’re Down Under, and if not we’ll post the audio.