Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 09/08/2019

Training Dukkha

I’ve really been struggling lately work discipline. It has been tremendously hard to force myself to get moving and do the things I know are necessary to achieve the goals I have set. I realize that, even by conditioning the body and mind in this way, success isn’t guaranteed but without doing anything, nothing at all will come of it.

I won’t get into the minutiae but suffice it to say the physical conditioning, study and meditation routine have left me feeling overwhelmed. As I do 108 prostrations, finish my sixtieth sit-up or fortieth push up, I will have been assailed by a hundred complaints. The endless whining and complaining doesn’t seem to stop when I sit in meditation. No, it simply adjusts itself to its new object and computations of being sleepy and winners when it will all be over. Next, I turn to studying survival medicine or herbalism and find myself constantly checking page numbers so I can move onto the next thing. And, as expected, the mind is soon enough dissatisfied with that too.

It’s pretty clear to me that the only way to move forward is by not standing still. Perhaps I’ve set the bar a little too high (maybe too many reps of different exercises) but what’s the alternative? Setting it so low that I feel good about accomplishments that don’t make me stronger? If I’m really doing this to benefit others, rather than to feel good in the moment then i need to just recognize the complaint and move on. Which is, I suppose, exactly what this post is.

May I never give up or surrender to fatigue completely. May I always drag myself across the finish line regardless of how ugly or haphazardly I have to do so.

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Shillelagh Studies

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