I’ve studied through the slogans a dozen times in my life;
these are my musings on the slogan currently, not a formal interpretation.
For that reason they are less about straight Buddhist teachings,
and I think able to be shared with most practitioners of other faiths or no faith
(unless yours doesn’t allow you to read any other tradition.)
If you have time and the inclination, I published the WHOLE thang here!
“21: Always maintain a joyful mind.”
I know that dwelling on pain intensifies the experience.
I’ve lived with it since I hurt myself in a dance/horseback riding injury at 17.
If I don’t talk endlessly about it, but maybe acknowledge it to
Mitchell on my worst days, then focus on other things, it seems to mitigate
it more than if I dwell on the pain itself like I did in my 20’s.
I know that when worry and stress or even desperation arise I now tend to ask myself
“What does this worry do for me?” I try to let it go, though I have to ask that again and again in seriously trying times, like bringing my mind back to the breath when I am distracted in meditation. Worry is not the same as problem solving, or checking on something for reassurance. Worry is filling your mind with repetitive negative thoughts.
Gratitude practice helps me tremendously, whether it is writing down one line
of something I am grateful for morning, noon, and night, or upon waking/before sleep writing or drawing gratitude. It may have saved my life.
But to be joyful for the trials of life
as an opportunity to practice?
I’m not there yet!
Okay, maybe only in hindsight. Honestly, while walking through piles of
horse shit I am not gleefully happy there must be a pony in here somewhere…
Yellow watercolor pencil with Diamine Ancient Copper.
I was going to wet it and let the ink run a bit but I liked the sketch so let it be..
Okina Journal, with pen and ink, and watercolor.
©D. Katie Powell.
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In this weekly commentary on the lojong, I am not open comments becoming
a debate for people to nitpick Buddhism or my interpretations of Buddhist concepts.
(There are lots of places for debates.) I am more interested in hearing about
YOUR life or how the lojong affected you or your practice awakening in some manner.
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I teach architectural sketching,
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Worry is filling your mind with repetitive negative thoughts–this puts it all in perspective, Kate. Thank you.
It does, doesn’t it!?