Posted by: Upāsaka | 06/17/2019

Happy Uposatha – Discomfort

This week I’m working on training through discomfort. I quoted the passage of Musonius Rufus yesterday that is relevant but here it is again:

“Now there are two kinds of [Stoic] training, one which is appropriate for the soul alone, and the other which is common to both soul and body. We use the training common to both when we discipline ourselves to cold, heat, thirst, hunger, meager rations, hard beds, avoidance of pleasures, and patience under suffering. For by these things and others like them the body is strengthened and becomes capable of enduring hardship, sturdy and ready for any task; the soul too is strengthened since it is trained for courage by patience under hardship and for self-control by abstinence from pleasures.”

-Musonius Rufus, Lectures, 6

In that vein, I have decided to take up bearing with heat and cold and standing while in the train when at least one other person is doing so — I don’t want to cultivate a sense of pride so I decided not to do it when there’s an empty car with plenty seats. Or maybe I’m just lazy.

Other practices recommended are fasting and eating meager meals ( which I try to do regularly and am doing today for the uposatha), hard beds (such is the floor), avoidance of pleasures and patience. The uposatha satisfies all of these as does the practice of brahmacariya every day (I think I’m on a personal record at 17 days). Anyway, I’m always fascinated by how close the Stoics came to the Dhamma; it’s a shame they didn’t meet with it as it could have changed the course of history. Regardless, happy uposatha!


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