Hello and good evening (or morning - tis' a matter of perception) to Guy and All!
Tonight was a late start. Most of my meditation was of the walking sort, although the time I spent sitting was time spent counting my breath... but I do have a habit of Bud-dho-ing by default. Not bad, just not part of the game plan right now.
Also, Bud-dho works really well when timed with the stepping of the feet. Put foot down "Bud-", put next foot down "-dho". Repeat!
Or, for more fun, lift foot up "bud-", place foot down "-dho". Repeat!
That really slows things down.
Guy wrote:Great metaphor, one that has occurred to me also.
Do I detect a musical background? I don't have one, except that my kids are both part of a music/piano program and I am responsible for their practice sessions. My wife plays, and I've seen her skill wax and wane over the years, which is probably a source of my thought. Her passion for music has been inherited by my kids; Olivia especially gravitates to piano, and out shines all her classmates (a source of pride for her papa!).
If we look at the fact that our mindfulness has deteriorated that can be disheartening. However, if we investigate what the causes are for the deterioration of mindfulness; how it creates more suffering; and how to restore the mindfulness: then even the times when we have strayed from the Path, so long as it is followed by that investigation as to why we have strayed, it is only a matter of time before we are back on the Path properly (in fact, if we are investigating, then in that moment we are on the Path already).
I think this, along with what followed, sums up my experience over these last months.
In some respects I was far from the path. But still, I contemplated my state, and the causes, continuously; sometimes shrewdly (it seemed to me), while at other times not so clearly. Even when it seemed my mindfulness had eroded to an abysmal degree, I always had enough left to me to notice and contemplate my condition.
Ultimately, if we reflect wisely often and deeply, there isn't really a choice - we have to follow the Path, which is certainly reassuring.
I think this is a great thing.
For me and for you there is a need to follow the path; for many others here, and out in the wider world, this certainly is true. On some level we really have grasped the dhamma right, and so we know enough never to relinquish our mind completely to circumstances.
Gosh, I feel like I'm giving myself to much credit.