Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:I have had to restart practice many times because of bouts of depression and malaise. Sometimes I really can't do it and sometimes it is just an excuse.
Any advice or words of encouragement?
I've had to restart practice after significant "breaks" myself. It's funny how it appears as though even during these lapses, I seem to be learning "the right things" that help to make my practice that much better. Mind you , I certainly am not advocating breaks, unless the practice is starting to seem like a "chore." (Time to find out why.)
For example, my most recent lapse in practice was a dousy and began two days after Khenchen Palden's parinirvana in June of 2010. I didn't lose any faith or devotion or anything else by the event, on the contrary I had one of my most memorable and intensive "secret ninja solo mini-retreats." After reading the email the next morning in a coffee shop conviently located at the entrance to the road up the mountains, I got up from my chair, drove to about 10k ft, set up camp, and didn't leave for a couple days. My intention was to purify any breaches in my samaya with Him, and to say "goodbye" I guess.
I had been depressed for a while at that point from divorce and other thing, and I had started to just go through the motions with everything, including practice. I came off the mountain knowing a couple things for certain. Not only was Khenchen not gone, but I felt closer to Him than ever up there, and I knew that wouldn't go away. I had also burned whatever was deep inside me that made me neurotic over all the particulars and petty details (which only served to ruin everything, even practice) in the fire.
I'm not sure why I stopped practicing then actually, but I continued to hang out with my Apache 'unlce' and his boys learning all kinds of amazing ceremony, "medicine," and other life lessons that come from walking The Good Red Road. One of my huge lessons there was how to pray. I realized REAL quick, most likely frantically trying not to dig a tunnel out of a sweat lodge while Uncle Eaglehawk forced my attention back to my prayers, that even though I had good intentions, I was to that point too selfish to pray. I knew even before then that I was just reading or saying things, and that there was something missing but I didn't know what it was. I couldn't get out of my own way. I was listening to myself instead of loosing myself (or ego) and communicating to "Creator" or "Guru." If anyone knows how to remove themselves from their prayers, it's Native Americans with their sometimes astonishing sacrifice that almost defines their prayer. Sweats, flesh offerings, sundance, holy cow. I joke to myself that it's actually like cheating, cause they don't have to "work" to make a connection, they hurt so bad that their ego is gone before they even remember to make their prayer! It really is a thing of beauty actually, to go through so much pain and suffering to add power
to the prayers that they have for themselves and especially their families, and many others. I digress...
Needless to say, I learned quite a bit to bring back to practice when the time finally came. It creeped up on me over a long time, but one day I was really badly hurt, and a great friend (another Apache come to think of it) was doing some medicine work on me in my room, I looked up and saw a picture of Khenchen and bust into tears. It was weird ya, but I got the message. I feel great about my practice now, and there are no hesitations, or self-doubt or any of that. The old cliche, "everything happens for a reason." Mine was that I had to stop in order to re-learn how to do it
as I had gotten lost in my own neurosis over every little detail. You may not feel that way about your "breaks," but I bet if you took some time to step back you might be able to realize something about yourself and your path. At the very least, here was a VERY longwinded attempt at encouragement in the vien of: "i stop too sometimes, but it certainly hasn't lost any of its power or beauty or benefit in my experience."
Pema Rigdzin wrote: heart wrote:
Courtesy of ChNNR the possibility to have a complete session lasting one minute.
And again, dit-friggin'-to!
Hello again B!!!!!!
Was thinking about tuning into a Web Cast to see what all the buzz is about. I've been reading some of ChNNR's books and I absolutely love them...
There is also a Yanzab Three Roots retreat at the end of the month a couple hours away from me I thought I should go to