Another cycle through the seasons of practice

If you follow this blog, you’ll know that the posts have become more infrequent. I have the intention to return to blogging more often. What’s been going on? Has practice continued?

I know it’s a cop out to say “I’ve been busy”, but that seems like the best thing to say. I’m still at Mission Dharma, going weekly, on the board of directors and still a lead volunteer – so that commitment is still quite strong and keeps me well connected to the Sangha and a great weekly practice.

I did teach another intro to Buddhism course this fall. The students were great, with more philosophical questions this time and I really enjoyed teaching the material. Preparing to teach is a wonderful way to deepen one’s Right Understanding! There was some conflict with the other dharma teacher. I’d rather not go into detail, but personality differences brought some stress to the class (not during the class, but surrounding it). Teaching teams make for tricky dynamics – despite all the Goodwill and Right Intention.

My daily practice has really dropped off. I’ve picked it up again just this week, but there’s little momentum. This is where the busy-ness comes in. And I can really feel it (the not practicing) in my life… not acutely, but more like a dull ache. I’m more heavy. I’m triggered by the awful politics (2017 was Trump’s first year in office). I feel less freedom, less delight, more dissatisfaction … more dukkha. I guess it’s just that simple. I’m not cleaning out on a daily basis. I’m … you get the idea.

So… here’s to a new year. I did sit at home on Monday. I went to Mission Dharma on Tuesday. I sat again last night (but only for 10 minutes) and now it’s Thursday. I don’t plan on making a grand commitment, but I do want to deepen my daily practice again. And come back to blogging. And read more (dharma and non-dharma). And drink less. And I’m going to try to remember that it’s not like a light switch — sitting more isn’t going to suddenly *blip* make my days lighter and brighter – it’s a process that is ‘forward leading’ as opposed to ‘spiraling slowly down’. I’ve been through this Dharma up / Dharma down dance before. I see it. Again. Just another cycle through the seasons of practice … even this is known. Even this.

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