Many People have begun to study and practise Buddhism for various reasons. Many people have come to seek the Buddhist Way. Some of these people have certainly met with adversity in their lives. Meeting with adversity, the problem arises, 'What can be done?' With the problem of adversity, through this causal condition, a number of people have begun to seek the Way. Concerning adversity, there is a Buddhist poem.

The poem is,

'The rain falls,
The soil becomes firm.'

This is a poem about agriculture. It is a simple poem. It is also about each and every person.

In the poem. 'The rain falls,' refers to adversity or hardships that are met with in the course of life.

'The soil' refers to each person. 'Becomes firm' means to mature or develop. So the poem is saying that through hardships people mature in life. It may not be easy to accept adversity, to accept years of hardship. But it is necessary to endure these difficult times in life, diligently doing one's best, and working in a right direction. We shouldn't see adversity as an end. That is we should not lose to adversity. During times of adversity we should endeavour to keep in the right way. Even if we have to grit our teeth each morning upon rising. Gritting our teeth each morning in order to continue. We should do our best each day, and refrain from being negligent.

A monk named Bokushu once said, 'The real universe will give you thirty blows.' Thirty blows. In Buddhist monasteries in order to encourage people in their practice, or in their life, people may receive blows with the admonishing stick. While sitting in meditation, for encouragement or when people grow sleepy, moderate blows on the soft of the right shoulder may be administered. The admonishing stick is light, and a nun or a monk on turn of duty administers the blows, for the other persons benefit. 'The real universe will give you thirty blows.' It is not just an easy matter to exist in this world. And so meeting with unfavourable conditions we should not give way to a feeling of hopelessness. We should be able to use the adversity. We should use the adversity to move us forward in life. Use the adversity as a stimulus, in order to progress.

There are also the words, 'To lose one's most precious thing.' I believe some people know this circumstance. Losing one's most precious thing. It happens in life that people lose their most precious thing. Despite this, we should continue earnestly. We have to be shrewd and diligent to exist in this world. However, we also have to be able to laugh, and to be a bit of a fool when things do not turn out as we expect them to.

In Buddhist temples, often flowers are offered on the main altar. Many flowers, many varieties of flowers are offered to the Buddhas. In Buddhism it is said that each and every person is a flower. So it is important that the flower blooms. And it is especially important that students of the Way flower or bloom in life. To bloom in life means to know the Way and to know one' self. And to have some self-confidence in life. In order for a flower to bloom in the spring or summer, the autumn and the winter seasons must also be passed. The cool autumn, and the cold winds, the rain and snow of winter must also be endured. It is quite possible that we will meet with hardship in life. And so whether we are laughing, or whether we are crying, we should make our best effort in the present. Continuing, persevering wholeheartedly, and enduring the various seasons in life, it is possible for the flower to bloom.