I finished the annual training last Sunday morning. I wish I could say that I jumped right back into my routine with a new energy and awareness. The truth is I returned refreshed in spirit but physically exhausted. Of course, while I was away many problems arose in my everyday world that demanded immediate attention whether or not I was up to giving it. So as I went through the motions of getting back to normal my sleepy thoughts lingered on the people I trained with and our shared experience of a common hardship. Today is the first day I have had a few moments to reflect and regain my bearings.
Buddhism demands a lot of effort. You can’t read a lot of books and get it, although study can be helpful. You can’t just meditate and get it, although meditation is a very important practice for most of us. You have to study and meditate and chant and walk and contemplate and concentrate day after day. The teachings do not promise us enlightenment, rather they promise that if we practice with diligence and patience we will advance the awakening of all sentient beings. It is no small task to throw off the dead weight of what blinds all of us to the truth, so it is best that we get started with joyful and determined hearts.
It is good to be home.