As I sit here at my desk at the end of the work day I am of two minds. One mind, the nice one, is saying “go home. You’re tired, you poor thing. You haven’t been sleeping well. Just start the class next week. Be gentle with yourself.” The other mind, the really annoying one, is saying “stop with the excuses, you lazy sod. Get your ass over to Spirit Rock. Later, you’ll be happy you did.” I hate that other mind.
Tonight is the first class of a 10 week series called Essential Dharma, Part 3. I took Part 1 a few months back, but then listened to the nice mind when it came to signing up for Part 2. Because I figured I was doing my week-long retreat and that was more than enough dharma and meditation for a while, so I didn’t give myself too much grief for not attending Part 2. After all, after my retreat my meditation practice would be in tippy top form and I wouldn’t need the structure of a weekly class to keep on track. Right?
Well, that was true for a few weeks, and then one day would go by without meditating, then two, and then I was only meditating once a week, and then even that became a stretch.
It’s not as though I have completely forgotten my Buddhist training. I do try and live by the five precepts: no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no harmful speech and no intoxicants. I’m still a decent person. It’s not like in the absence of a sangha or a teacher I have become a reality show contestant, or even a Republican. Though, I do have to say I probably could use some work on the precept of no harmful speech.
I need the structure. I know this about myself. And I love my meditation and my Buddhist practice. So, where’s the debate?
OK, OK, annoying mind, I’ll go. I hate it when you know what’s best for me.