“The Obstacle is the Path” is a Zen saying with multiple meanings. Its most obvious lesson is that in overcoming life’s challenges we grow (no pain, no gain?) and perhaps that our failures teach us more than our successes. At a slightly deeper level, choosing to see obstacles as the path tells us that we can choose the attitudes we have about what happens to us in life. Our choice of interpretation, our chosen world view, all powerfully affect the outcomes we create in life. The old adage holds true: Life turns out best for those who make the best of how things turn out.
A Stumbling Block or a Stepping-Stone
Isn’t it strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me,
are builders for eternity?
Each is given a list of rules;
a shapeless mass; a bag of tools.
And each must fashion, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.
– Robert Lee Sharpe, 1872-1951
As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier