Practice of the Week

Category: Slogans to Live By: Practices for everyone to keep in mind and pay attention to. These practices don't require setting aside a separate substantial chunk of time. Just have the intention to grow stronger in each of these areas as you go about your day, and sometimes make one of them the focus of your daily journaling. The titles of these practices are guiding slogans to live by.

Practice strong determination. Strong determination is a practice to teach us how to take ourselves seriously as dignified spiritual practitioners. Your strong determination will teach you that, whatever your shortcomings (and it is absolutely necessary to be honest, even brutally honest about our shortcomings at every point), you also have within you a powerful energy to accomplish the spiritual path. And that what you want to do is accomplish this -- it is of all things the important thing for you.

When you stop to think about it, what are you after in your life anyway? What is it that you most would like to accomplish or manifest with this one short, precious life you have been given? Of course you want to love and take care of your family and accomplish something in this world. You want to be someone, have some kind of identity in the world. We all need this and all it entails, in whatever way is possible for us to establish it. But why? Because we want to be good people, and we want to fulfill our highest human destiny.

At our best we all have high purposes, noble goals, even if we are modest about them. But we forget them. The daily grind takes us far from our reasons for doing what we do. We get lost in the details, absorbed in the problems. To practice strong determination is to intentionally stay connected to our higher goals and to remind us that we truly are spiritual practitioners; we are heroes; we can make effort; we can do what needs to be done to live a noble life.

To make this into a concrete practice, you could compose a short speech for yourself to this effect. Don't be afraid to be forthright and resolute about it and to use bold language.
"I might look like a merely ordinary person, but I am not. I am a spiritual warrior, a spiritual hero, and though this may not be apparent to others, inside it is clear to me. I definitely will be a sage! Maybe it will take a long time, maybe I won't complete the job in this lifetime. But there's no doubt about it whatsoever. I refuse to be stuck for good with my ordinary limited point of view; I'm leaving that behind. I'm going forward!"
That's the spirit of strong determination. So compose a speech like this for yourself and repeat it to yourself from time to time -- in meditation, on the commuter train, whenever you can.

For Journaling

In your journal, write out your determination speech.

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For list of all weekly practices: "Spiritual Practice Directory"

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