Sunday, July 12, 2015

Keeping It Switched On: On Not Vacillating

I wrote the first post on this blog at the beginning of last year. I'd promised myself I was going to write more and be more serious about studying and becoming a Buddhist. The two paired well for me, and it's odd to think of how I'm going to spend that hour every sunday that has typically been spent on this blog. More to the point of this new tenet, I'm going to have to find another way to avoid vacillating in the practice of my Buddhism.
Don't vacillate.
I didn't even bother forming an opinion about what this might mean before turning to Their alternate translation, "Don't switch on and off," didn't help much. Their explanatory passage just made me feel guilty.
"Consistency is the key to effective practice. On again, off again practice never develops any momentum."
I worry that I'll vacillate without the weekly post to write about the next slogan. I know I did before I hit on this blog idea. Judy Lief's piece, however, calmed me again:
  "No matter how you enter into the practice of mind training, the idea is to become more steady and confident. Constantly changing your mind about what you are doing drains away your enthusiasm and leaves you depleted of energy. You sink into a kind of undertow of self-doubt. It is important to break this pattern and to develop more self-confidence and certainty in the dharma and in your own insight."
I know I've built up some momentum on this mind training, and I have ideas about how to keep it going, so it's nice to see Lief talk about it as something "to develop." Her advice for applying this tenet also helps:
"When your enthusiasm seems to be flickering, try to drop down a layer to a more steady and fundamental stream of inspiration. By placing whatever you experience within that stream, you can gradually gain greater certainty in the view and practice of lojong."
So that's what I'll be working on. Until next time, namaste and all that.

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