Twenty things which are hard for human beings

 

        The Buddha said: "There are twenty things which are hard for human beings:


    "It is hard to practice charity when one is poor."
    "It is hard to study the Way when occupying a position of great authority."
    "It is hard to surrender life at the approach of inevitable death."
    "It is hard to get an opportunity of reading the sutras."
    "It is hard to be born directly into Buddhist surroundings."
    "It is hard to hear lust and desire (without yielding to them)."
    "It is hard to see something attractive without desiring it."
    "It is hard to bear insult without making an angry reply."
    "It is hard to have power and not to pay regard to it."
    "It is hard to come into contact with things and yet remain unaffected by them."
    "It is hard to study widely and investigate everything thoroughly."
    "It is hard to overcome selfishness and sloth."
    "It is hard to avoid making light of not having studies (the Way) enough."
    "It is hard to keep the mind evenly balanced."
    "It is hard to refrain from defining things as being something or not being something."
    "It is hard to come into contact with clear perception (of the Way)."
    "It I hard to perceive one’s own nature and (through such perception) to study the Way."
    "It is hard to help others towards Enlightenment according to their various needs."
    "It is hard to see the end (of the Way) without being moved."
    "It is hard to discard successfully (the shackles that bind us to the wheel of life and death) as opportunities present themselves."
    (An excerpt in The Sutra of 42 sections)