This week we will explore 4 of the remaining 12 slogans.
First – Train Without Bias In All Areas: This seems to point to our selective way of practicing. Maybe we don’t practice when we are on vacation or away from home. Maybe we wait until retreat or only when we “feel like practicing”. Then again, maybe we send lovingkindness and compassion for just the people we like or are concerned about but not to people we don’t like. What gets excluded from your practice? Consider the who, when, where, and how of no practice and ask yourself why that is. Why are these not the main areas of practice?
Second – Always Meditate On Whatever Provokes Resentment: Don’t you just love this. How much clearer can this slogan get. In case you missed the seriousness of the aforementioned slogan…now this. It makes sense if you think about it. If we learned to really stay close to our resentments we could learn to let go of a lot of the defilements. I think the stickiest, toughest, most cutting of all the defilements is resentment because of it tangled web of righteousness, hurt and our sense of decency. It seems to be the hardest to let go of. What do you think, if we practiced specifically within the areas of our resentments, should not the rest of the defilements be easy peasy?
Third – Don’t Be Swayed By External Circumstances: This is quite simple. Don’t let the comings and goings of your life affect your desire to practice. Trungpa Rinpoche has a great saying “if your situation is right, breathe that out; if your situation is wrong, breathe that in. Norman Fisher suggests that while we want to be resolute in whatever comes our way, we should also be flexible. Allowing our external circumstances to have some affect upon us can be skillful. The question is, how would we determine when we are letting our external circumstances affect us too much?
Fourth – This Time, Practice The Main Points: This feels like it is for those who believe in rebirths but as Norman Fisher points out – this time is the only time. I think the point here is to accept that we have be working at awakening for a long time (even in just this lifetime). At this point, the best course of action is to stick with the basics.
See you tomorrow – Tuere