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Discipline in the spiritual life

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

It is an interesting thing, that practice as a buddhist seems to require a high level of discipline. I remember when I just started my buddhist studies and had a regular practice, and discipline was tricky but I managed.

Now, quite a few years later, I am feeling more natural. If the feeling to meditate comes, then I meditate. But the feeling of discipline has entirely disappeared, I don’t seem to be able to access it anymore. The drive to meditate every morning is gone.

I appreciate the relaxed feeling of being natural. Sometimes I enjoy a little just-sitting.



  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    My experience is similar. Discipline is a tool, nothing more. When starting out, the hammer may be the only tool you have, so you use the hammer. As you go along, you acquire a few more precise tools and use the hammer less often. I still use mine once in a while, where nothing else seems to do the job.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited May 2022

    I sometimes got inspiration listening to interviews of experienced/frequent meditators like Adyashanti talking about what he had found. I'm actually moving from the idea of inspiration via people on to recollecting and thinking back to when I meditated last March and imagining if I had just come out of a meditation before I started having my food I cooked and a glass of cranberry juice, and then can I be aware of how that would be the same or different then my daily awareness having or having not meditated? Like a vitamin pill do I actually notice anything mentally or physically different? It seems like in meditation I would explore connotations of things but then return to the breath. So would meditation refreshen my notion of my daily experience? Like right now cranberries seem a neutral reference to me, just a mentor liked it 20 years past, and picked up at the grocery this week just to do something different from usual.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @marcitko said:
    It might be the case of "not too tight, not too lose". The middle way might be best.

    It might be so for most people… I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

    But for me, discipline has vanished, there is nothing to hang on to anymore. There is only do-or-do-not, as Yoda would say.

  • At some point I relaxed and slipped into thinking about practice instead of practicing throughout the day.
    Until the delusion and ignorance are completely eradicated, I don't see myself being able to do without some discipline and schedule. Otherwise, and even with, I fall back into ignorance of thinking about practice instead of actually practicing. It's enough to be frustrated if I didn't know better. So I just laugh to myself and keep observing self to learn more.

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