Author Topic: Advice for dealing with dips in motivation to practice?  (Read 614 times)

Offline wandering_samsara

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Advice for dealing with dips in motivation to practice?
« on: October 25, 2015, 12:56:43 am »
Hello everyone,

I am fairly new to Buddhist practice as a way of life. Recently, I became very committed to practicing the eightfold path.

I feel like I have been learning a lot from this, but right now I keep getting tripped up by this recurring problem that has been disrupting the stability of my practice: I've been finding continuous vigilance pretty draining at times, and I end up getting burnt out. Now that I am a bit more mindful, I notice things like desire and aversion as they arise in my mind a lot more. In the past, I would unknowingly just be driven by them, but now when I notice them I can make a choice of whether to indulge them or to be mindful. This has been very useful and valuable. However, constantly choosing to mentally face and embrace uncomfortable feelings all the time eventually gets really exhausting.

The result of all this is that I am pretty disciplined with my practice for a couple of weeks or so, but during this time my will gets slowly drained away. I don't know how to skillfully deal with this yet, so eventually I find myself unable to resist and I succumb to the desire to just totally indulge myself for a few days. During this time, I find I have no motivation at all to practice or even think about practicing. I continue like this for a few days until I start finding this self-indulgent way of living unsatisfying and depressing and my motivation to practice begins to slowly grow again. It's almost like some kind of binge-purge cycle or something.

In the suttas the buddha talks about the pleasure that comes from meditation as a wholesome source of pleasure that does not interfere with practice. I hope to eventually be able to attain the first jhana and thus be able to sate my mind's desire for enjoyment in a way that is less disruptive of my practice. However, I am still a very long way away from being able to get that concentrated in meditation. I don't know what to do in the mean time when my comfort and pleasure addicted mind gets cranky and tired of being good and throws a tantrum.

Anway, I hope that made sense. Anyone have any advice for how I can deal with this more skillfully and become more stable in my practice?

Thanks!

 


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