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Monday, 09 March 2009

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there are so many reasons tied up in my intentions, some that benefit others and some that would seem to benefit me alone. but of course, nothing benefits just one person. i think that if i can become a "better" person, or one who can better understand human nature (taking my own mind as the jumping-off point), everyone whose life touches mine benefits. and as my teacher pointed out to me once, when i doubted the purity of my motivation, i am also a sentient being.

here are her words:

"It is very difficult to generate motivation for anything that we do, including practice, that is unmixed with attachment and self concern. In fact, those brief moments in which one's mind is purely dedicated to the welfare of others, are moments of enlightenment. Usually we are only able to experience this pure motivation with regard to someone that we love greatly and to whom we are totally attached - like one's child or spouse. When that loving mind lets go of the attachment to self, and therefore to other, and when that mind is dedicated in the same way to all beings, then one is fully actualizing Buddhanature."

andree... that was lovely. Thanks for sharing.

For me, right now, I want to cut through whatever has been in the way of a daily practice.

The past few years have been overwhelming and in the midst of that overwhelm my practice got lost. I found myself in a place where I had gone through the Precepts ceremony and formally taken on Buddhism as a path but I felt completely lost. My routine shifted from weekly trips to the temple to routine trips to hospitals and lots of time with my parents who were both dealing with health challenges. When I lost my father just over a year ago, I was overcome by the grief of the loss. I studied the teachings and that helped a bit but I didn't get back to the temple or my practice. I tried sitting now and then but I just felt hollow and numb.

When I started blogging about my practice back in 2004, I was an enthusiastic beginner. My mind was full of thoughts and questions and ideas that I couldn't share comfortably with friends. But back then when Buddhist practice was a new thing in my world, I struggled with or against myself. I thought I should be sitting everyday but I wasn't someone who sat outside the temple. I judged myself for it and I wondered about it... and I wanted to figure it out. I wanted to break through and get to the next step... whatever that was.

I don't approach meditation with the same achievement mind that I used to. I'm not trying out this 108 day experiment because I want to be able to pat myself on the back for doing it. I just finally feel ready to look a things that I've been avoiding and to stop thinking about something I've wanted to do and actually just do it.

I created this site because I thought it would be nice to share the experience with others. I don't show up here to teach or because I think I know anything special. I just show up to share and create a space for sharing. Just a week in I'm already moved and inspired by everyone who stops by... I would've continued alone but it is nice to have the company.

Wow, I feel like I'm a bit long-winded so I'll make my way back around to the topic...

We all want to be authentic. We want to avoid selfish motivations and we want to avoid ego trips. But we're human... prone to human responses, human motivations, human expectations.

So we practice. The end.

Three part answer...

In terms of a meditation practice itself: I hope to gain mindfulness that will help me be more aware of how I cause my own suffering. I'm a very happy person generally speaking. But I realize that I cause myself a lot of grief. I want to tame my monkey-mind and achieve a new kind of peace and happiness.

From the 108 day exercise: I hope to develop routine. For years, I have struggled to cultivate and maintain a lasting personal daily practice. I know a consistent daily routine is necessary to properly exercise my meditation "muscles" and develop mindfulness.
108 Days is helping me develop this routine!

Yes, I feel like I'm grasping. I feel like I want things to be other than they are. I have yet to resolve these issues. So ... how's this? I will not grasp for an answer to this right now. I will just practice. :)

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