According to the Pali Cannon, Gutama Buddha said:

Possessed of two things in this very life, one lives in much ease and happiness, firmly directed towards the ending of the defilements. What two? Being thrilled by enthusiasm at the time for enthusiasm, and making a firm effort.

I think this should be tied directly into this: The Seven Points of Practice

I think at times I grimly approach my practice like it is a chore. Other noteworthy bloggers have seemed to be going through the same thing. This is a rough cycle for me that will likely go around in circles until I am ready to break it. I think I am able to step out of it for longer and longer periods of time, But then there are those days... But today is not one of them!



Anonymous said...


It's all just part of life. There is nothing to break away from. There is nothing to avoid. There is a kindof joy that comes from being willing to take on anything regardless of whether or not some might class it is pleasant/unpleasant.

Even fear can be an enjoyable experience if you know that it is unfounded. Roller-coasters are built to demonstrate this.

SlowZen said...

I am 80% with you on this.
I am an advocate of cessation, So to practice cessation is to "break away from". The rest of your comments I am with you on wholeheartedly.

Thanks for visiting, it has been a while,

Anonymous said...


can you explain further. I'm not sure that I understand and that's due to me not being familiar with terms. It may be that we agree 100% but that terms are different.

OBTW, I often visit but often have nothing to say...

SlowZen said...

I think it is important to break away from our desire for things to be different than how they really are.

As in: when we have a grim approach to practice this is usually due to us "wanting" something from it. MC might call this end gaming.

Eliminate that wanting, practice joyfully.

My own issue might be the "desire" to practice Joyfully!
Clinging to that desire, or any desire I think, is not right practice.

Do you see the circle?

Anonymous said...


OK, I see know what you are getting at.

When we desire something we are moving away from what is here and know and creating some ideal future.

A desire can be a way to avoid the here and now.

You are correct that clinging to desire is not helpful to practice and the desire itself needs to be dropped - but naturally.

But the desire to drop desires or the desire to practice in a certain way is a way in which we deny one desire by replacing it with another. It's a subtle trap and one that you have spotted.

It is enough I think to recognise the desire, to recognise what that says and then let it be. The desire will fade naturally in time if it is not a 'natural' desire.

Some examples:

1. Obviously in my blog I have written at great length in the past about my desire for a partner. For the last week or two I can say that the desire is still there but somehow it does not seem that important or pressing. I have however still been eyeballing lots of women and have so far managed to avoid crashing the car.

2. Today I've been looking at my tent in the garden and looking at a camping website and pondering the idea of driving to a nearby forest and camping out.I find waking up with a forest in the morning to be a beautiful experience. I also desire to work on my fear some more. The only issue is that it is a 'school night' and I would be very tired tomorrow if I did this. So just in that simple thing are wrapped several desires including one to avoid what I think is a necessary practice.

Overall I don't think there is any need to DO anything with desires. Just acknowledge them and keep practicing.

Sometimes practice is 'grim' but 'grim' is something extra that we bring to it. All that 'grim' means is that we are facing something that we have been previously avoiding.

It's easy to get hooked on practice as something that is DONE.

To almost any question my kung fu teacher would respond "just keep practicing".

SlowZen said...

"To almost any question my kung fu teacher would respond "just keep practicing".


Thanks MikeDoe,

muddy elephant said...

Hi Jordan,

another nice post and good comments between you and mikedoe.

I am very much on the same page when it comes to practice, the desire for practice to be a certain way, perhaps the subtle need for it to be and feel "good."

You have a really good awareness of this whole issue and I simply wish you the best in your endeavor.

SlowZen said...

I have been watching your unfolding sky blog. And I have finally thought of something pithy to say, plus it is kind of related to this post!

It is more interesting when there is something in it besides blue. I think that practice may be like that too.

Bonus, it rhymes!

Now I have to go yell at people and act mean.


Thanks for looking!