Sunday, May 10, 2015

Just Order the Roast Roadrunner: On Training in the Three Difficulties

This tenet falls under the category of "maintenance" apparently, and it is timely considering the ups-and-downs I've had of late are evening out a bit.
Train in the Three Difficulties.
I'm beyond the "lolwut?" response that I had to obscure sounding teachings back when I started this project. With where I am now, eager and happy for each new piece of the puzzle, I don't even try to interpret the slogan before turning to my commentaries. So, knowing I'd have very little insight ahead of time about what those three difficulties might be, I just turned to

When I got there, I found an alternative translation that had me scratching my head a bit: "Learn to meet three challenges." However, the explanatory paragraph helped a bit:
"The three challenges are: to recognize a reactive pattern, to develop a way to work on it, and to work on it until it releases."
All I could think was, "Okay, but how?" So I turned to Judy Lief, and her opening paragraph affirmed that this teaching isn't a starting point by reminding her reader of what we've gotten ourselves into by studying lojong.
"Mind training or lojong is a way to uncover and develop confidence in our inherent goodness and that of all beings. It is a way to cultivate loving-kindness. You might way that is the good news. But the way to go about that is by going directly to the dark side, to what prevents that awakened quality from manifesting which is not an easy task. You might say that is the bad news."
And it is a constant process. Cyclical and iterative. That's kind of the point of mindfulness and lojong, to go beyond and change your ways. After reading everything, I sat back and thought. As usually happens, as I mulled it over I thought a lot about pop culture. Self-awareness is sorely lacking in a lot of characters in pop culture. However, something Lief said later in her short piece (included below) made my mind turn to the one who I think could be a poster child for "the definition of insanity": Wile E. Coyote. He was constantly bruised, banged, burned, smooshed, and shamed. He was always my favorite when I was younger, but no longer. All I can think is that one ounce of self-awareness might have kicked him out if his reactive patterns and into an order for "roast roadrunner" from Acme. (The Vimeo above was their earliest appearance, and still one of my all time favorite cartoons in general.)

Lief's advice for this tenet will help: "Instead of battling big deal emotional hang-ups, practice paying attention to the tiny little shifts of thought that, like a match to a fuse, cause a big explosion of confusion." I'm also going to keep Wile E. in mind, and do the opposite of what I think he'd do in any situation.

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

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