Every other day

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Every other day

Postby paulbear » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:39 pm

January 2013 was a going to be a new year with a fresh new start, huh sounds familiar? After meeting a friend of a friend who introduced me to buddhism I decided to start slowly and do some research. I started with a mindfulness meditation daily along with literature and anything I can read via internet. Unfortunately living in a foreign country with a moderate grasp of the language it's almost impossible to find a center that teaches or practices buddhism in English within 100 mile radius. I didn't let this stop me and continued my new journey with an open mind , I must say the lectures and books I've read really opened my mind to a new life with less suffering involved. As times passed I noticed myself skipping the meditation practice to every other day, to completely not meditating at all. I'm not sure if this is normal for newbies or is the lack of discipline on my part. I know one thing when I meditate I'm definitely more mindful. I 've noticed myself more at peace and accepting in those days. If anyone has a similar story or any feedback it's appreciated. Thank you Paul
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Re: Every other day

Postby Ayu » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:34 pm

Meditating for maybe 10 years alone on my own, i find it very normal, what you are talking about. My inspiration rolled in waves all the years, with some periods of doing less or nothing and then being inspired again...
The times when i lost the inspiration or what you may call disciplin were always somehow painful. The pain of numbness.

This stopped completely when i found my teacher. As soon as i took refuge there, i didn't loose the thread of my practice - even if it is thin: I do at least some short mantras every day and i enjoy doing more and going deeper. The inspiration doesn't loose it's grip.
I think i need the contact to a wise person to improve.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Every other day

Postby MaitriYNOD » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:28 pm

Inspiration waxes and wanes for practitioners of all types. That's normal. However, many of the teachers I know talk about this and teach that motivating yourself to meditate even when you don't really feel like it is also an important part of the path. I would guess the tradition you practice with has some standard contemplations one can mull over to inspire oneself.

In Tibetan Buddhism, we have what is called "the four mind changings," which refer to contemplating the preciousness of a human life, impermanence and death, Karma, and the suffering of samsara. Contemplating these subjects are foundational for Tibetan practitioners, and as far as I can tell there is no discrepancy between this practice and any other stripe of Buddhism, as it is based on the Four Noble Truths. This is what I do to kick myself in the ass when I feel sluggish. I don't always convince myself but it does help. If you're interested, there is a bottomless wealth of teachings on the four mind changings accessible online.

Also, I second Ayu's experience that finding a teacher does wonders for meditation practice.
I am a lustful, angry dullard with no power of realization. Do not put anything I say into practice without first confirming it with a qualified teacher.
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Re: Every other day

Postby paulbear » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:41 pm

Thank you both for your input, I really appreciate the feedback and can relate to both answers. Peace and blessings Paul
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