Radhanath Swami – A monk’s perspective on stress

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Published on Dec 25, 2019 by Radhanath Swami

Stress, it seems to follow us at every turn in life. Through timeless wisdom we could learnt to transform stress into a positive energy that inspires personal fulfilment and heightened productivity. The same stress that pummels us into anxiety has the potential to increase the value of life physically, emotionally and spiritually. Stress can break us or strengthen us. An athlete grows in speed and strength through enduring stress. For example, when lifting weights, the greater the resistance, the stronger the weightlifter becomes. However, if not balanced properly the stress of the weight could injure your back or damage your muscles. If properly managed even the stress of taking exams in school can be an impetus to serious study. The queen of gems, the precious diamond is nothing but common coal that with the help of nature’s wisdom has been transformed under extreme pressure. And gold, the king of metals is purified by blazing fire. Integrity means to embrace our ideals even in the face of temptation or fear and to become a more compassionate human being in the process. But how does that happen? How can we transform stress from a hurtful energy to a helpful energy? Bible tells us that if you build your house on a foundation of rock then whatever storms may come, the house will not be moved. But if you build your house on a foundation of sand, it may look beautiful, but when a storm comes, it will collapse. The timeless wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita explains that this foundation is the inner peace and love that is the very nature of our soul in our true potential. It teaches us how to develop a strong spiritual foundation wherein we connect with our own inner peace and the power of grace. The support we gain from this foundation protects our integrity, clarity of thought and peace of mind. Even when the storms of stress come upon us.

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