Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 06/12/2020

Locked in Combat or Ne cede malis

Perhaps it’s due to the coarsening quality of my mind or perhaps it’s because of the fact that I find myself pulled in so many directions these days, but I am finding that my practice is best describe using martial metaphors lately. Truth be told, it is more than simply metaphor, I truly feel that I’m locked in mortal combat with the kilesas.

I’m on my 12th day of brahmacariya and find my mind constantly drawn towards thinking about the opposite sex. It is pure torture and yet I can also see much more clearly how we are driven on like sheep to a slaughter by our defilements. Lust has its way with us and when it has burned itself out anger takes the reins. After we’ve made fools of ourselves greed steps back into the driver’s seat and so we are lead further and further into the maelstrom of samsara.

Only by unremitting effort and constant combat can I hope to make some headway. To be honest, at this point it is really about consolidating the gains I have made and not ceding any ground. And, if this means pain and suffering in the short term so be it. Ne cede malis.

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Shillelagh Studies

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