My practice has unquestionably cooled over the last few months.
I could get into lots of explanations and excuses but really it comes down to: I’m not sitting often enough. And thus begins a feedback loop in which I feel worse and sit less and feel worse and sit less, and where attending sittings at the Centre starts to add to the feedback (where usually I’d find it encourages me).
But I’ve just finished filling out two sets of paperwork which I think will break the feedback loop.
The first is a pledge form for the eight-week Term Student program at the Centre. The Term Student program has participants pledge to increase the amount of time and energy they spend in practice and on Centre-related activities, combined with weekly meetings with all participants to share their experiences and encourage each other. For the first time this year’s program was limited to formal students of either sensei or with special permission, and Sensei gave me the OK last week. I’m pledging to attend three sittings a week at the Centre, and to do morning and night sittings at home daily (but giving myself Saturday morning to sleep in), plus a bunch of ceremonies and samu at the Centre.
The second is an application for the 7-day October sesshin, which falls right in the middle of the term student program. This will be my first sesshin, which means that technically I’m attending for four days and then Sensei and I will decide whether I continue. But I have the full period booked off work and I fully expect to make it through!
Earlier tonight I was looking for something in Evernote and saw this quote I’d saved from Meditation Matters a year ago:
The affairs of the world will go on forever. Do not delay the practice of meditation.
Yep. Now to get that fire burning again. It’s a lot easier to keep a fire burning once it’s started.