Sunday, March 23, 2014

Some Training Montage From an 80's Movie: On Training with Slogans

Last week was a bad week for meditating. Crap sleep one night and working the night shift another made mornings anything but routine. I did work with the idea of labels, so it wasn't a complete loss, but finding the concentration and desire to meditate was mostly impossible. Back to it this week, though, and with no guilt for the lapse because I never stop training in the preliminaries.

Anyway, let's move onto this week's tenet:
In all activities, train with slogans.
I grasped the intent right away (that this work should be a constant companion), but my mind still wandered. The first thing that came to mind was, of course, pop culture oriented. I thought of obligatory movie and television training montages. That brought to mind a scene from one of my favorite episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Once More With Feeling," the episode, and a training montage the scene (which is even funnier because Buffy worried, earlier in the episode, that "this whole session's gonna turn into some training montage from an 80's movie.")

After I got over the giggly feeling I always get when I think of that episode of BtVS, I turned to The translation they provide is straightforward: "Use reminders in everything you do." Their explanation for this tenet is also helpful:
"As you go about your day, constantly use such verbal reminders as:
Gain is illusion; loss is enlightenment.
I take all loss and defeat from others; I give all victory and gain to them.
" (Source) [emphasis theirs]
Wow are those clear marching orders. I still felt the need to consult Tricycle to round out my understanding. I'm so glad I did. One particular bit of Judy Lief's commentary hit me hard, like punch in the gut hard:
"Once you understand the underlying point—to increase loving-kindness and concern for others and to decrease self-absorption and ego fixation—you can make up our own slogan. One suited to where you feel most stuck." (Source)
It punched me in the gut because I've done precisely that, but for a different reason. I recently took an online class taught by Brené Brown, and one of the assignments was to come up with a personal mantra. Sound familiar? It's perfect for the purposes of this tenet because my mantra started as more about loving-kindness and concern for myself, but I say it to myself about others on a regular basis now. As part of the class, I had to create art for every assignment, and here's what I ended up with for my mantra:

Always Learning; Always Growing.
I'm going to work with my mantra more intentionally this week, but I'm also going to follow Lief's suggestion for this slogan: "Where do you place the boundaries of your practice? Where do you shut it down? Choose one situation outside that boundary to include in your slogan practice." (Same source as earlier Lief quote.)

Until next time, namaste and all that.

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