Backsliding on mindfulness

It’s a Sunday afternoon.
It’s not uncommon for things to go wrong. Trying to be mindful about it. Not suppressing, not trying to kid myself and be overly optimistic, but just trying to note it and maintain that “don’t know” mind, to try and remain standing on the primary point.
It’s a Sunday afternoon.
But upsets don’t just begin on Sunday mornings. My meditation practise has been terribly weak since Chinese New Year. Or maybe even long before. It’s kind of ironical especially when you look back at my past posts on “Dharma ego”. If you’re too caught on the Dharma, you try too hard. If you’re lax on Practice, you backslide.
Mindfulness exercises these weeks have been weak and half-hearted. The mind is obviously tired, scattered and flighty. So often I just give up after a few breaths. Even Thursday evening’s 1/2 hour sittings and walking was quite a struggle. Anyway, 1/2 hour is just 1/2 hour.
No time to meditate! FYP!
Is it really an excuse? I don’t think so, but at the same time, I have to be responsible for it.
I remembered telling Suey Lein in big tones about how one can still be mindful when walking to the canteen for luncg, eat mindfully, blah blah and hence still practise even though busy on FYP. I think I should apologise to her for talking so big. Haha. I’m not even doing it myself now. Mainly because my mind is still occupied with FYP while walking anywhere. Either that or I’m just too tired and weak and I let my mind drift. And anyway, I can’t really blame having no time. In between work times, when I’m sick of doing my data-mining, instead of being mindful, I prefered to watch crunchyroll (curse you Davis for introducing me to it!!! Haha…) or do some other crappy thing that just makes my mind more distracted. Entertained, yes, but distracted. And so, worsening mindfulness, less calm, hidden Buddha nature.
On the positive side (I’m not trying to be a naive, optimistic geek, I’m serious here), it means that I’ve truly learnt the value of those benefits from mindful practices… So much that I notice the difference when I backslide on my practice. It just gives me more motivation to get going again, and to maintain it there!
It’s like someone who usually keeps his nails short and uses the laptop often. When the nails get long, it interferes with the typing. For some days you wonder, “Hmmm… Something’s wrong with my keyboard, but I can’t catch exactly what it is…” Then suddenly you realise that all along it’s just long fingernails getting in the way. So I’m going to clip my nails the next chance I get! It’s a promise!
Some examples of things going from from lack of mindful practice lately:
Losing my temper easily at family and the one closest to my heart 😦
Attacking the forum poster wangzirui very unskilfully and getting him/her to get upset and start posting even worse than before. I’ve just sent him/her a private message apologising, although I think he/she has some really serious issues he/she needs to get sorted out.
Behaving rather rowdily that evening after Dharma Circle and at other times, making a fool of myself.
Saying something unskilfull (and totally crappy) to Meihui today at lunch. Okay she didn’t get pissed but I shouldn’t shoot my mouth off like that.
Being simply fidgety and easily irritated at food, buses and whathaveyous.
I’m like a single bamboo in a hurricane these days… Talk about a boulder in the wind!! Where’s the equanimity?? I think I need to repent. I’m sorry! Time to be more mindful.
Having said all that, taking this Zen course really benefitted me alot. Previously Zen to me was marvelous, and there seemed to be something there, but I couldn’t quite grasp it. Now, I still can’t grasp it, but at least now I know how to use it in daily life, so it’s no longer just rhetoric. “Emptiness” makes a hell lot of sense now in daily life, and I’m so marvelled by its applications in changing a suffering mind. Thanks to Jiwen Shifu and my Zen buddies for being the conditions to learn how to hit the floor! I promise to work hard so that everyone can hit the floor together!

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