Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bookending My Day: On Two Activities

It's been rough for me lately, between grieving for my former feline overlord and getting used to flow of things with my new one. But I feel back to myself the last few days, especially with the work I've done with the tenet from last week. I was definitely ready to read the commentary for this new teaching:
Two activities: one at the beginning, one at the end.
Funny aside: right as I started to do my research for this post, The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go" started playing. Not really pertinent to this conversation, but it gave me a giggle.

Once I stopped chuckling, I turned to and found the alternate translation: "Two things to do: one at the beginning, one at the end." Sometimes I think the translations at UM are willfully different just to be different from the standard, and today was one of those times - nothing different, really, so it shed no new light. Their brief explanation, however, was a revelation:
"Start your day by setting the intention to be present and to use taking and sending. End your day with a review of your states of mind during the day."
There's that quality I value so highly in lojong: practicality. Kōans have their purpose, but I feel much more comfortable with immediately applicable lessons. So, armed with the idea that I'll be bookending my days with intention and examination, I turned to Tricycle and Judy Lief for a bit more illumination. And wow did I find it:
"The practice of lojong is a life-long journey, but that journey takes place one day at a time. You cannot do anything about days gone by, and speculating about the future can be overwhelming and somewhat pointless. But you can look at each day as a practice period, with a beginning and an end. So every morning, you take a fresh start, and every evening you have a chance [to] appraise how you have done."
That passage is both daunting and comforting. But it gives me a direction.

So, that's what I'll be working on. Until next time, namaste and all that.

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