Sunday, January 19, 2003

Regular Practice & Random Practice

Regular meditation practice at a fixed time and place actually simulates situations of inconvenience, which are useful spiritually. What do I mean by this? For instance, because you are scheduled to have a meditation session on Friday evenings at a certain temple, you have to actively block out any other clashes of other activities- even if you are tempted by an attractive fun or social event, and make your way to the appointed place at the (self-)appointed time. This is what I meant by "situations of inconvenience." Learning to overcome each situation is the practising of self-discipline. This is very useful because the crucial moment of death will usually be an incredibly inconvenient time. In learning to overcome minor inconveniences, we prepare for the major ones, especially of sickness and death. In our dying moments, it can be very difficult or easy to muster our spirituality to let go of life- depending on how well-disciplined and used to inconvenience we are. In such matters of life and death, or rather, rebirth versus release, we are faced with the ultimate test of our life.

It is often an illusion of mastery and ease when those who do not practice regularly proclaim that they can meditate anywhere anytime they wish. It might be true while they are alive and well, but the catch is when they meditate as and when they wish, they are often not facing inconveniences; they are choosing convenient occasions instead. In not being used to making peace with inconveniences, death might not be adequately prepared for. By the above, I am not discounting the value of "convenient" practice versus "inconvenient" practice, but am encouraging regular practice in addition to irregular practice, especially since there are the possible side-effects of having only "inconvenient" regular practice becoming "used to routines" which are taken for granted. Worse still, one might be attached to the time and place to meditate such that it becomes convenient instead! In such cases, irregular practice at unfamiliar times and places becomes inconvenient instead! JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

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