Sorry for the long silence. I hope you all are well and happy. Please make a note that I was not able to send out last month’s email as I was preparing for the enthronement ceremony of the Yangsi (reincarnation) of the late Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. I also might have missed reaching some of you in my past emails due to technical issues, so just in case you did not receive one of my regular emails please don’t take it personally! I was away in a remote part of Nepal with no access to internet and therefore couldn’t send the email on Guru Rinpoche Day (I did send it out on the 13th of the Tibetan Lunar calendar).
Now, coming back to Śāntideva’s Way of the Bodhisattva, it is through diligence that one develops and intensifies bodhichitta. But what is diligence? Why is it so important for one’s practice? Diligence in simple ‘English dictionary’ terms means careful and persistent effort. Hence, it is a careful and persistent effort towards happily performing a virtuous act.
Qualities of diligence:
- Motivation: Bodhicitta
- Action: Virtuous
- Emotion: happy, willing and having a joyful heart
- Feeling: Without contentment (when performing a virtuous act, one shouldn’t feel content with the certain amount of an action – for instance when finishing with one session of meditation, one shouldn’t just have a satisfied feeling for the whole day. Why? Because through this you’ll be missing out the possibility of doing more meditation.)
What hinders diligence? LAZINESS!
Varieties of laziness:
- Contentment with dharma: For instance, “I have done enough practice today”.
- Low self esteem: “How could someone like myself practice this supreme dharma, and gain enlightenment, which is so faaaaaaaaaaar away? How could a person like myself ever reach it?”
- Procrastinating: “I’ll do my next session on meditation a little later or tomorrow.”
- Distraction: Getting lost in mundane activities and samsaric luxuries.
- Fake dignity: “I’ve seen some positive experience in my practice and now I’m special and therefore, I don’t need to practice or I can do a short practice and that is enough.”
Based on the above details on diligence and laziness, try to acquire the qualities of diligence and avoid the different forms of laziness.
Without diligence, you won’t be able to accomplish anything in your practice.
Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche