Sanghamitta wrote:I have quoted this before but one of the Ajahns trained by Luang Por Chah told me that Luang Por once said to him. "Until your practice has brought you three times to the edge of despair, it hasnt properly started."
Many of us are hard nuts to crack. We need strong nut crackers. Fortunately life is usually ready to supply them.
Quite true, but this doesn't mean (for me, at least) that we have to encourage, support or maintain suffering. Suffering just happens naturally as we go along the path, due to our defilements; not due to the dhamma, I would say. My humble guess is that Ajahn Chah said this precisely to encourage peace, acceptance and appreciation towards the suffering, which is the dhamma, leading to calm and happiness.
The view that one needs rough self-discipline, and it is all-right to suffer from that is a different thing, I think. As I understand it, the need for self-discipline arises precisely from the lack of kindness towards the mind and body. Kindness towards the mind and body creates agreeable conditions from which the mind doesn't crave to escape, rendering self-discipline unnecessary, leading to calm and happy states. This is how it can be a path without groaning.
This was not a reply to me, but it occurred to me that it is good to express these thoughts on peace.