As it is, I hope to regain my energy, concentration, and determination to practice--which have been lagging a bit due to changing circumstances in my life. Also, to stay awake and present more often during the day. To really take all of the teachings I have received to heart, and be more humble, joyful, and simple. To be able to help sentient beings, somehow...
This really strikes a chord with me.
I find that dharma "practice" (I mean, time devoted to meditation, 'ritual' activity, etc.)
seems, for me anyway, to move in cycles.
Very concentrated for a while, then a bit less, and even ignored for a while.
Then I realize how much I need to practice and the pendulum swings back.
All my teachers say this is not a good strategy. You can't get momentum going.
It's like taking a road trip and stopping at every rest stop to buy postcards.
At the advice of a friend, I have begun to do full prostrations again as part of my morning routine.
This, after I stopped doing ngondro about 17 years ago, after only 11,000 prostrations.
But I think what happens is that we tend to store up a lot of "dharma engery" or something
...is it "merit"? I don't know, but it is somehow separate from the mundane concerns of the world,
something builds up internally, and we want to connect it with what is external.
It's like being someone who invents a new flying machine, who spends a year locked in the laboratory,
totally focused on the project,
and then later takes it outside to see if it will fly or not.
And it flies and it flies and the person flies off far away, and then the wings snap off,
and the person has to go all the way back to the laboratory and work on it some more.
So, the question,
"If you were to "Begin all over again today"
...I think that problem comes up a lot!!