Journals

The Discipline of Being Me.

Discipline is very difficult. It was hard for me on the East Coast and its hard for me on the West Coast.

Currently I am eating the most delicious donut ever and reflecting on my first week living in Seattle. As I walk around, talk to people and to myself, I notice that I feel a particular responsibility to be true to the dharma at a time when it would be very very easy to stop practicing.

It isn't always convenient to tell people I am a Buddhist, that I meditate every day and that when I do it, nothing really happens. The discipline comes here at the level of speech. How important is this practice to me? What percentage of Meredith does it represent? Does it add or take away fromthe other parts? Clearly these are VERY relative questions, but we rarely meet one another on an ultimate level, although that would be nice.

I keep moving past the fetishized version of what it means to be on this path, realizing that it won't make me more attractive or more interesting (with the exception of Metta, which will make you beautiful and popular). I am left alone afloat in my spectrum of too tight too loose too lazy too hyper too desirous too worldy.....will I practice? for whom? for what? and how much?...no-one is watching!

Well, I have been practicing because I feel guilty even when people aren’t watching. Plus I am afraid that my friends will get enlightened before me. After all everything happens first in New York. Not only that, I like practicing. It helps me like my worldly self and be more open to others in the world. When I meet people, I try to be honest. (I think about dharma ALL THE TIME!!).  This practice does a lot for self. For me it is a sort of glue adhering the feminist, the teacher, the writer, the actress, the activist, the artist, the socialite, the wanderer etc...No, glue is not the right word, the practice allows all these things to be all at once what they are in the moment.

Holding that feels great, like growing up.

What is it like for you?

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Comments

I hear you

Meredith, great commentary.

My meditation practice has given me more skillful ways of relating to those around me but I think the most beautiful thing is that is gives me the opportunity to connect with myself in a way that is gentle, kind and loving of every single aspect of my personality, my story, whatever you want to call it.  Being able to see the story line and willing let go is a great sense of freedom.

Eventually I came to think of my practice in terms of devotion rather than discipline, just felt more in tune with how I wanted to relate to me.

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