Power and the Pain: transforming spiritual hardship into joy
Can we find diamonds in the mud? Is it possible to mine joy and strength from our daily difficulties?
We all encounter obstacles on a daily basis – from small inconveniences and nuisances to the really big hardships wreaking havoc with our lives. Sometimes just the small things are enough to set us reeling.
The Power and the Pain addresses these issues head on. Of course we will always be subject to problems. It is how we view them that can change. In fact, this change of perspective is the very ground from which we can develop our previously untapped inner power and strength.
Dr. Andrew Holecek offers us a progressive path, beginning with common, easily understood hardships, and moving on to more subtle and challenging ones that commonly arise on our spiritual journeys. While the material is mostly drawn from Buddhist principles, many wisdom traditions are encompassed, including modern science, philosophy and psychology.
This is an indispensable guidebook for spiritual travelers seeking a way to synthesize experience and practice, and with this find transformational personal growth.
"When practicing on the spiritual path, often people do encounter difficulties and hardships. It is important to understand what these hardships are and how to deal with them when they occur. I am very glad that Andrew Holecek, who has studied and practiced Buddhism for many years, has written this book that will help people work through the situations they face as they practice the path"—Thrangu Rinpoche
"the spiritual hardships that each of us face along the way can be literally hard to bear, whether these are purely psychological pressures or events that impact us on a physical level as well. Yet they can be ameliorated when we see their connection to our path as a whole. That is the distinctive gift of The Power and the Pain for contemporary Buddhist practitioners. It helps us make sense of our individual experiences, which, as unique as they are, have been challenging practitioners in different ways since the time of the Buddha…. When we move beyond our theories about the spiritual path into the actual practice of it, that is when the insights and methods offered in this book will become truly useful. Andrew's book is in this sense a compassionate refuge for troubled times."—The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
"With brilliance and kindness, Andrew Holecek brings the shadow side of the spiritual path into the light, helping the practitioner navigate the hardships he or she will inevitably discover. Holecek shows them for what they are—necessary obstacles on all levels of the path that can either hinder or strengthen our practice, and we can indeed be grateful to him for so clearly and completely elucidating this profound and necessary but rarely mentioned side of the spiritual path."—Dr. Jeremy Hayward, author of Warrior-King of Shambhala: Remembering Chogyam Trungpa
"From Andrew Holecek's first words, you know you can trust him. He writes from deeply felt experience as well as a masterful grasp of the vast dharma. His essential point is riveting: 'the path leading to the cessation of suffering necessarily includes suffering.' This book is the essence of good meditation instruction."—Irini Rockwell, author of The Five Wisdom Energies
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Andrew Holecek has been traveling the spiritual path for his entire adult life and for the past twenty years has been a serious practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. Readers may be familiar with Dr. Holecek from his contributions to such Buddhist periodicals as Shambhala Sun and Elephant and from his regular column on death and dying for Bodhi Magazine. Founder of the Forum of Living and Dying, he teaches seminars throughout the country on spiritual hardship and the Tibetan views of life, death, and beyond. Dr. Holecek is also the co-founder of the Himalayan Dental Relief Project, which serves impoverished children in five Asian countries. He is currently adjunct faculty at Naropa University and the Ngedon School of Buddhist Studies and lives in Golden, Colorado.