It is good to hear from you, as always. I am doing reasonable well, and Nancy is doing quite well. We will be in California next week for the weekend teaching, at least if it is not cancelled, and hope to see you then.
I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing a fading of enthusiasm. You said, "I feel I tend to loose myself in practice", and I don't know what you mean by that. If you could tell me more, maybe I can suggest something.
What we call laziness is a basic instinct and it serves a purpose. Laziness arises when we begin to doubt that the results we are achieving are worth the time and effort we are putting in. So doubt and laziness are closely connected. They exist to keep us from wasting our time, but they are emotional compulsions, and not very subject to rational thought. As a matter of fact, they take hold of thought and turn it around, giving rise to further doubt and creating excuses for procrastination.
Bring as much joy and satisfaction to your practice as you can, and then find as much peace and contentment as you can within the practice itself. Don't let your mind turn it into a chore. Stay inspired about the Dharma, but most especially find that place in your own heart and mind that knows this is the right thing to do, and stay with it.
I think you are already doing that, and the problem comes with the rest of your life. You lose the joy and peace and satisfaction when you get too far from the cushion. It is very important not to have two different modes of living. When the bell rings and you arise from the cushion, keep on meditating. Pay attention to what is happening in your mind the same way that you do when you are sitting. Pay attention to what is happening in your body the same way you do when you are walking. Stay in the present as much as possible, and appreciate the perfection of what is happening now. Learn to flow with events in a kind of "living meditation". Whenever you find yourself lost in attachment to thoughts and feelings, remember to come back to being in flow.
These are just some general suggestions, but I would like to help in a more specific way if I can. Don't hesitate to ask. Sometimes just writing out the questions leads you to the answers, but I'll be happy to help you find the answers as well.
I hope you are healthy and that your studies are going well.
--- On Sun, 11/8/09, YUNCHANG LIU <email@example.com> wrote:
From: YUNCHANG LIU <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: How are you?
To: "Culadasa" <email@example.com>
Date: Sunday, November 8, 2009, 6:47 PM
- Hide quoted text -
I didn't see you have recent posts in Jhana_Insight. There are
discussing some very interesting issues there and I want to hear your
For that reason, I am also wondering and want to know how are you? May
be you are in a retreat?
My personal practice is still going on. But there are some feelings
that I have and I want to get your guidance:
1. I feel I tend to loose myself in practice. I can still mostly keep
the schedule. But the enthusiasm slowly fades away. Recently I
sprained my ankle when I played basketball and caused the pain if I
sit long. Because of that, I tried to use the morning session to make
up some exercise (slow, but try-to-concentrated walking, I feel energy
level is low if no exercise, especially i am working a little bit
harder in my study now).
I know it is the natural phenomenon in meditation practice and that is
a hindrance. But why our mind works this way? Why laziness is our
Is it also due to the doubt - I feel little result (or no apparent
result )of sitting practice? That probably a reason.
So, dear teacher, how to recharge myself?
2. I feel the mind is developing two kinds of the mode: the sitting
mode in which I feel peace and relax; the daily motive mode in which
the mind lost itself and mindfulness and peace is hard to keep. I am
worrying about that this will be two real tendency and it will be
So, how to maintain the mindfulness and peace in our daily activities?
Thanks, Culadasa, and it is glad that we will see you soon.
Best regards to you and Nancy!