The 84th Problem

There’s a story that’s been on my mind quite a bit recently; since moving to London. It’s about a farmer who is having a tough year. His crops die due to the bad weather and his family is miserable. As the story goes, he approaches the Buddha to question his teaching. Why does his faithfulness still equate to so many problems? The Buddha explains that all people have 83 problems; although some may disappear they will always be replaced with others, so we always have 83. And his teaching will not help with any of them, because his teaching is to help with the 84th. Of course, the farmer asks what is the 84th problem: the Buddha replies, ‘it is that we do not want to have any problems’.

A few years ago I could be destroyed by my faults. Some days I still am. But a lot of the time I think life is down to how you look at it (I know, I know, easy to say on a good day. Not so much on the bad). Every time I’m faced with a problem now, I try to see it as a blessing. I’m going to learn something. I’m especially going to learn something about myself.

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