Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 01/30/2018

Using Discomfort

Yesterday was rough and I was only able to partially fulfill my practice aspirations due to family issues and scheduling conflicts. But, I did the best that I could and pushed myself beyond my comfort level. Eating once a day leaves me with low energy at times but it’s the way that I deal with that particular kind of suffering that interests me. In other words, how can I make a refuge in he mind that not affected by external conditions? That’s really the point for me undertaking a physical exercise and fasting routine.

Another surprising result of  trying to use discomfort as a training tool is to see that most of my day is spent trying to micromanage the myriad, tiny sufferings we live through in the course of a day. It’s cold so we turn on the heat; we have a hunger pang so we open the fridge; we’re bored so we read a book or watch a show. But, what happens when we don’t do that? What can I learn in those spaces of stress and boredom? That’s what interests me and it runs so counter to the ways of modern civilization that it’s like an invigorating splash of cold water to the face.

May we not run from our suffering but, instead, may we bear with it until we comprehend it.

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Shillelagh Studies

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