Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 08/11/2017


The practice can certainly feel like walking a tightrope at times. Or navigating a minefield. Or carrying a bowl filled to the brim with oil and trying not to spill a drop. Regardless of the metaphor, I had my first opportunity to test my resolve this morning and it was striking just how mundane it ease and how willing I seemed to loosen my resolve.

I won't go into the minutiae but there is this to be taken from it: this untrained mind is ready to slip its yoke and drop back into familiar patterns at a moment's notice.

I have resolved to take the path of service as a means of cultivating the brahmaviharas and to prepare the mind for true and liberating wisdom. Yet, at its very first test, I was ready to throw it all away. And for what? So that I could enjoy the spoiled fruit of resentment? Clearly, it is I and no one else who is deficient in understanding and compassion.

May I keep close watch on the mind as one would watch a child playing by a busy street so that it is not swept up and carried away or smashed asunder by the barreling and wayward traffic of its thoughts.


  1. Hi, it happens to everybody. And it will happen many times again. What I do on those occasions is I remind myself that letting go and not beating myself up is a part of the practice. Perhaps this is exactly there the practice starts, not fails! Just think about it! Anyway, all the best to you. I hope you are as kind to yourself as you are to others.

    • Thanks Adrian. I know I give the impression that I’m hard on myself but I like me very much. I appreciate your heartwarming concern though. Be well!

      • Hi, yes, you indeed give that impression. Good to know, it’s just an impression 🙂 Have a great day!

      • You as well my friend!

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.