Posted by: Upāsaka | 01/17/2013

Failings as Footholds

MaraIt can be especially hard to practice when you know you’ve done wrong (at least that’s how I feel about the matter). Often, when I have said or done something that has hurt another person (or, when I’m on a roll, people) I have to give myself some space and allow the gravity of the situation to sink in. Then, after some time, I am usually able to get myself to the cushion to begin the processs of forgiving myself and starting anew.

Still, it’s always hard to hear that nagging, mocking voice in my mind telling me to quit pretending to be  good person or asking why I even bother with a practice that hasn’t transformed my behavior. In the past I would give in and believe the voice of Mara and maybe give up for a few hours or the day but, eventually, the guilt would ebb away on its own and I would be back right where I started. So, with time and practice I actually made a resolve to use my failings as footholds and even, for a time, came up with a personal gatha to admonish myself to practice the Dhamma whenever I went astray in body, speech or mind. Although I don’t remember the words of it now I feel it in my heart whenever I do wrong and draw closer to the Dhamma every time I slip.




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