Anyone engaged in genuine spiritual practice will face many challenges along the path. Whether it’s the frustration of feeling that you are unable to meditate, the physical aches and pains of sitting still, the sense of inadequacy or failure, or simply not having enough time, there are countless hurdles on the way to enlightenment. You enter a spiritual path to get yourself together, but everything falls apart. You start to meditate to calm your mind, but it seems crazier than ever. You feel like you’re finally making progress, then it seems like you don’t understand anything.
With his ground-breaking book, The Power and The Pain; Transforming Spiritual Hardship into Joy, and the forthcoming sequel, Andrew finally answers the questions that Western students have been asking for decades: Why is it so hard to attain enlightenment? Why does a path that promises heavenly bliss bring so much heartache?
“Andrew’s book is a compassionate refuge for troubled times.” -The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, author of “Rebel Buddha”It is common for beginning meditators to stumble upon difficult spiritual experiences they don’t understand, and for older students to feel like nothing is happening. Addressing students across the spectrum of development, Andrew brings a wealth of study and experience to help us handle the emotional and intellectual issues that cause many people to become disillusioned on the path, or to drop it entirely.
Beginning with his study of spirituality over forty years ago, and progressing through a systematic exploration of the world’s mystical traditions, Andrew became a formal student of Tibetan Buddhism in l989. His extensive training and retreat experience, including a three-year meditation retreat and over twenty years as a meditation instructor, makes him uniquely qualified to address the many challenges that face the serious spiritual student.
Waking up is difficult. Understanding what makes it so hard can remove a great deal of unnecessary hardship, and inspire us to keep going when things get tough. Andrew echoes the Dalai Lama’s famous words, “Never give up!,” and helps us develop the perseverance, loving-kindness, and humor required to sustain our path, even when everything, and everyone, seems to be against it.
Below is a podcast Andrew was on about the book called Inside Personal Growth with Greg Voisen.