Things are picking up pace. Next week is finals and the week after we make way to our ISP locations. This will entail the creation of detailed itineraries. Planning these things is something intensely stimulating. It requires a lot of thoughts involving the future. These thoughts are important, we need to plan. Approaching a situation with a plan and awareness is important, it requires an amount of heedfulness.
Lately we’ve been steeped into Vajrayanan (Tibetan) Buddhist lectures. A great emphasis in these lectures is the development of virtue and avoidance of non-virtue. They repeat again and again how the root of the afflictive emotions and suffering is our participation in non-virtue. When engaged in this process of planning. I find it increasingly difficult to avoid non-virtue. Anger more easily crops up, I feel more scattered and give into the the desire to chat aimlessly. Such chatter evolved into goofing around, both a telltale sign of anxiety and chaos in the heart.
It’s strange to be studying a set of teachings and a religious system focused on doing good, avoiding evil, and purifying the mind, while at the same time being immersed in the general madness of living in a city and being surrounded by college-age people. The environment doesn’t match the goals of the program.
This is why I emphasize heedfulness. When coming upon stressful times, it’s important to be mindful of the chatter going on in the mind and where it’s directed. Because most of us will be going about our responsibilities and our mind will slip into a place it really shouldn’t be. This is why we watch what we’re doing and take action when the going gets tough- that is, when the mind gives into greed, aversion, and delusion.
This is hard, but it’s worth it. So here I am.
Pictured here is a cave at Wat Than Doi Toan, where we were originally going to stay. A part of my heart hurts considering the fact we could have spent our time at a beautiful, quiet monastery fit for meditation and ended up in a bustling city. Yeah, I feel a bit bitter; but I’m just grateful we got to be here. It’s also been important to address my aversion and dislike of the city and it’s lifestyle.
The other photo is of Kruba Srivichai, a truly great monk. He’s a strong figure in my independent study project, I can talk more on him next time.