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Failed Practice

Yesterday I failed practice. Oh I did twenty or thirty minutes but needed longer and I know it.

I unfairly shouted, swore, ranted and raved about nothing in particular. This does not happen often but is directly related to equanimity through practice, a side effect if you like. :3

Failure is an option for us lesser mortals.
All we can do is heed the inspiration of Orgasmic Bodhisattva Rumi:

Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.




  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I also think that on those days on which I don't practise the amount I need (does that amount exist, anyway?), I feel more prone to tantrums and bickerings... I'm in a generally more edgy mood than on those days on which I can properly sit.

    Despite my Latin temper, I don't go ballistics as often as I used to, though, but it still happens.

    But like you say, and despite our loftiest aspirations, we're human, and I don't berate myself for acting in a human way.

    But yes, the conclusion is, there seems to be a correlation between a failed-practice day and our self being less "subdued," to use a word I read yesterday in the Dhammapada.
    Or perhaps it is us unduly flagelating ourselves for not being up to our own expectations...

  • @DhammaDragon said:
    Or perhaps it is us unduly flagelating ourselves for not being up to our own expectations...

    Exactly so.

    We read somewhere that only at least twenty minutes of full lotus teeth gritting is 'meditation' and our ten minutes of calm seems paltry. IT IS NOT.

    We start from what is sustainable and useful. This is where honesty and integrity come in. Some people can not sit still. The monkey mind is too fidgety. They need pre-meditation. This is especially true of our caffeine fueled, motivated, over stressed peers.

    For example the practice of yoga nidra is a wonderful training in focus, mindfulness and physical relaxation. Tai Chi is calming and so on ...

  • @lobster said:They need pre-meditation.

    Samatha includes that initial calming down.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    If you're going to be a flop, just be a really good flop.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @genkaku said:
    If you're going to be a flop, just be a really good flop.

    Amen! Thank god I'm a defiant one. ;)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I don't think it's possible to fail at practice. That's why it's practice...You may have failed at perfection. But don't we all.

  • @karasti nice point, very well put!
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    I'm used to failing, but I know that there is just so many times that you can fail until your bound to get it right eventually.

  • howhow Veteran

    Failure is us judging something as wanting.(Is the failure in the wanting or the judging?)
    if each moment is new and being met by a new being, who is doing the judging?

    Gotta wonder who keeps trying to redecorate each new moment with yesterday's mentality.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited April 2015

    OP, how do you figure you failed? You got in another day of meditation practice. And it sounds like it triggered a release in you, maybe helped you clear some pent-up stuff. I'd call that a success, progress. As long as you didn't harm anyone (I assume you were alone for the yelling/cursing), no harm done, no vows broken.

    I don't see where the failure comes in.

  • I assume you were alone for the yelling/cursing

    You assume wrong. :p

    @Dakini said:
    OP, how do you figure you failed? You got in another day of meditation practice.

    I did not.

    Going through the motions, knowing ones requirements may be different day to day is where the 'failure' or rather responsibility is.

    I do feel remorse but not much as such behavour is avoidable. Dwelling in past unskillfullness is not skilfull, just a reminder of why and how practice is useful on a variety of levels :)

  • howhow Veteran
    edited April 2015


    This practice, as easy to forget as it is the remember again.

    Pooofff, were gone, pooofff we're back.

    Sometimes I think a practice is just trying to spend more time returning, than leaving again.

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