Finding Joy within Practice
We all come to this practice because we don’t feel satisfied or fulfilled with life as it is, so us practitioners are inevitably draw to the experiences of dukkha and see them as the cause of our malaise. This is what is seen to need to change if we are to achieve our desire for fulfillment. The problem with this is that we can so easily focus almost exclusively on this negative side of ourselves to the exclusion of the positive side that we all have, and the positive side of this wonderful and mysterious world that we all live in. So to change we need to turn ourselves not exclusively to the negative but also to the positive, and include life itself, to create an antidote that will help disempower and counterbalance dukkha so allowing it to fade and fall away.
Thank you for an inspiring talk at this retreat. As always, it seemed to be directly what I needed to hear – being in a spiral of blame, self-loathing and feeling out-of-control is a cycle that I find hard to break. It’s almost as if I need periods of self-pity and indulgence to escape from the effort of this training. But, Āloka’s story and 40 years of commitment is such a motivation, and to hear how he is dealing with cancer, and how we need to recognise the positivity and wonder in each moment, these certainly help me to put things into perspective. So, thank you. For bearing with us, for being our teacher, and for continually reminding us of the path.