It has been a remarkably fast descent back to my unregenerate mind and lack of motivation and dryness of the practice since the Goenka retreat of one month ago. Today, I did not meditate at all and my mind was not present at all. The day passed by like a blur. As a consequence of this, so much negativity and anger and intolerance and craving and distractions have begun to take over my mind. Actually, I am not 100% sure that the causal relation is not reversed in cases like these and this doubt always occurs to me – it may be that a powerful storm of negativity is currently raging in my mind due to some unknown cause and that this is the reason that I could not bring myself to meditate, which made the storm gain power and last longer, and not the other way around as I am usually inclined to believe. It is true that when I woke up, my mind was extremely chaotic and that this contributed to my not sitting my morning hour. However, my mind is always chaotic when I first wake up and the morning sit is absolutely essential in introducing a calm which lasts the whole day. This is why I tend to believe that the lack of the morning sit allows the admittedly ordinary morning chaos to rise to extraordinary intensity. However, I have no way of measuring the amount of chaos and no way to be truly sure about which direction the causal relation goes. Also, I have no way to know what would have happened had I meditated this morning with respect to the storm currently raging through my mind – whether it would have ceased or continued.
Actually, I can see now that arguments of the sort that I have just been trying to make – that it may be the pre-existence of some powerful storm in my mind that prevented me from meditating – are really just ways of making excuses for my failure of motivation and conditioning more failures like this for myself in the future. In effect, I am saying: it is okay that I didn’t meditate this morning since there was a storm raging and there wouldn’t have been any point to the meditation, I should just weather this tempest and wait it out with patience and acceptance. This is clearly an unhelpful thought to be entertaining since it is obvious that sitting the morning hour would have had a benefit, even if only to train my motivation, if not in reducing the chaos or introducing calm. So, I should just accept that my failure to sit today was a mistake and resolve not to make this same mistake again in the future. I forgive myself for making this mistake; after all, I have only just started the path and should not harbour any expectations that my motivation will be perfect from the start. At the same time, I should not go to the extent of forgiveness that I begin to make excuses for myself and in this way condition more mistakes of the same sort for my future on this path.
It has just occurred to me that the large contributor to my failure of this morning was my extreme laziness. This was due to the fact that I had so much trouble getting out of bed in the morning and kept on falling back asleep every time my body naturally awakened and bid me get up. This continued from 6am until about 11am and at that point my mind was so heavy and clouded that it was impossible to draw up any motivation to work on the path. I have learned to recognise this sort of mind-state as I have journeyed on this path. It is like a drowsy dreamy carelessness that seeks nothing but rest and comfort. It is such a scourge for my practice and it is so hard to eradicate. I remember that my technique for eliminating this hindrance during the retreat was to go for a short walk at a brisk pace with the sun in my face after which my energy levels would be returned to balance. But here it seems that my energy descends to such lows that even a short walk seems to me in these states to take too much effort and exertion. What a disgusting and contemptible curse this lethargy is! I must find some way of energising my mind and body.
May all beings find the energy to practice the Dhamma