I severely lack discipline and want to improve. I will start small by creating a basic schedule. I am setting a schedule for waking up, meals, meditation, and bed. I do not expect to follow this perfectly at first and am already giving myself permission to make mistakes and be sloppy so long as I return to attempt again.
How is your discipline and what do you find helpful in its cultivation?
I do a couple of Zoom 30 min sittings a day with some friends at 7 am and 10 pm.
No dharma talks or ceremony, save a bell showing when it starts and ends. It places a certain time commitment that is put aside for a social formal sitting where we share in a meditative pilgrimage. It says that no matter what else shows up in my life to compete for time for formal practice, at least in these two times, I am saying that our sharing of a meditative journey trumps all else. It also means that instead of just formally meditating when I feel like it, I end up sitting through the many revealing states that I would have otherwise probably avoided.
Good question. Do until done.
A memory of what my mind and life are like when I don't engage in regular practice.
Cushion time twice a day every day, morning and afternoon...Plus a Dharma group meeting once a week, every Monday evening...( the group has been meeting at member's homes since 2021-I think I stated to attend 2006/7-before this I just attended the monthly Dharma talks given by Geshe-la who came to the island once a month )
In the past my emotional self was in the habit of throwing a spanner in the works whenever the motivational self set plans, the emotional self would try to talk the motivational self out of doing what needed to be done and more often than not it was successful ....
Over the years I'm becoming more and more aware that the mind is easily charmed by its own thoughts....
Nowadays the motivational self is not so easily charmed, and will just do it, not giving the emotional self enough time to pick up the spanner....
For me it’s mostly about restraint. With food, especially biscuits, internet time, sleep, and so on. Everything where you are yourself given to going to excess. Also in keeping commitments, such as helping my elderly mother and father.
Really good advice and great question.
Conquer your mornings, peacefully of course. Once the restraint and hold over the morning is well adjusted, then you have the rest of the day. It gets progressively easier.
return to the breath
The breath is a clear indication of what we are experiencing.
A few different breathing patterns can change consciousness.
Thought this would be of interest. I know the image and title can seem a bit overproduced...but the lecture is great.
Thank you all. This is quite the collection of helpful insights. I think I have enough for a nice list on the whiteboard.
Show up for life
Remember your purpose
Return to the breath
Return to the breath
Return to the breath
Practice, practice, practice
I can't wait for the day I stop distracting myself with the intellectual pursuit more than embodying the practice. Maybe today?
"It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic."
I am extremely regimented in my morning and evening rituals: I cold-shower, dress in the bathroom, apply my skin creams, make coffee, drink it, and then brush my teeth.
In the evening, I wash, put on my nightwear, brush my teeth and again, apply skin care.
When it comes to Meditating, reading Buddhist literature, and practising daily - I confess, I am less disciplined.
But I mean well....
You are trying (the beginning of do-do or Dodo)
In other words action or extinction, both good
Ah, so frustrating. Of course...either there is do or there is do not. Everything else is mind fluff. I don't lack discipline, I just don't do the things. If I want to do the things, I can always just do them.
Doing things by discipline is like scrunching up your face and thinking it helps with willpower.
It gets easier but there is always more. Everybody has a chance and a path to return to.
… eventually …
“Every step is on the path.”
Or like squeezing hard on the gut, as if attempting to pass some large bolus, and thinking that helps. Willpower both is and isn’t like producing a stubborn turd.