Serenity through Practice

It occurs to me that what this blog is all about is maintaining equanimity in the face of an increasingly chaotic world.  That’s what practice inevitably leads to: a sense of certainty and security that stems from knowing what this day will bring: that is, our practice.

I guess that may not seem like much comfort to someone who may be about to lose their job.  But perhaps we place too much of our happiness in a position contingent upon job outcomes, or job status.

Not that we shouldn’t expect happiness from our work, but that it is rather only a part of our happiness, and our happiness needn’t come to an end just because our job does.

I think you can draw a link between equanimity and certainty of practice.  Maybe the equanimity comes directly from meditation, but I suspect it comes as well from the expectation that, whatever else happens today, I can rest in the knowledge that I Will Do My Practice – and that’s powerful.

It grows in power as we grow in our practice.  As our daisy-chain of days practiced lengthens, so does our expectation of doing the practice and our confidence from having done the practice.

What make the Five Tibetans so powerful for me are not their rigor, not that they make me physically powerful, but rather their very simplicity and ease of accomplishment.  I know that as sure as the sun rises, I can rise to do the rites; and therein lays their power.  They are rigorous enough to keep me healthy, and short and simple enough for me to consistently do them every day.

To the extent that I can develop such a practice in each domain of my life, to that extent I will have an expectation of accomplishment: that the house is neat and clean from having a place for everything, and everything in its place; of emotional equipoise that comes from meditation; of health from yoga and bike riding; of financial health from budgeting, saving, and investing; of mental health from reading, writing, and model building; of spiritual health from reading scripture, prayer, worship, and fellowship; of social health from broadening and deepening connections.

These expectations are what serenity is made of.

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