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Mystical Tsongkhapa, Mystical Me?
In Retreat
Hester Boelens-Rood
Jan 25, 2023
Beautiful question Ellen, thank you for bringing this up. I can relate to the 'using mind to get beyond mind' that Amanda speaks of. In my experience, the question also is: what is discipline? What is the essence of discipline? I can be too rigid in practicing, wanting to do it perfectly or pressuring situations to be able to do my practice on the cushion. But then, this discipline becomes like a to-do list, like a way of saying: yes, check, did it today, this day is done or complete. But then, especially in this Troma Nakmo Retreat, where is the compassion? And what am I doing? My 'edge' until now in this retreat is a practical one, even just being able to do the sadhana. I haven't been able to do it the way I planned, because of practical circumstances. I have been feeling frustrated and 'not good enough' about it. But when I realize I am still in the middle of this retreat, I know that for me in this period, my intention is most important. Up until a few days ago I felt this pressure and urge to practice, knowing that there would be lots of things coming in between and when that happened I would be feeling frustrated and unsatisfied about it. It drove me up to a point, to an edge of an enormous mountain of frustration and not feeling good enough, that gave me some kind of overview and it actually made me laugh about it. What am I doing here? This is not helping anyone, this is not what compassion, let alone fierce compassion, looks like. This mountain of feelings and judgements, that seemed so big and unsurpassable, actually brought me back to space and compassion. Just doing practice..

Hester Boelens-Rood

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