Coming Back to the Cushion, Gunning for Stream-Entry

I never really stopped meditating, per se, I just wound up doing less of it, less frequently than I had done in the past. I got busy with other things and tired from the increasingly hectic pace of work – to the point where now, for now, I’m always on-call for the company. It’s hard to make / take the time to sit when you get home tired and the phone rings every half hour with some issue needing your attention (or kids, kids could be bad for it too), but over the past couple months I’ve been ramping up my sitting time and ignoring the phone more assiduously (having figured out that they’ll figure it out). And as, and as much as, the monkey-mind settles down, my motivation to practise increases.

Once upon a time, I was determined to make it to stream-entry (Theravada Buddhist talk for the first stage of enlightenment). At some point, I’m not sure when exactly, it went away. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that instead of the desire going away, it was more that the goal seemed out-of-reach, sort of like dreams of stardom are for many people. The sort of case where it is not so much that one wouldn’t love to be famous, or that one wouldn’t immediately give up ordinary life if fame descended upon her in some form, but more like the acknowledgement and acceptance that life probably just won’t allow her that experience: discouragement. Just so, I became discouraged that awakening is an experience that I could experience.

But lately – and I don’t know whether it’s the increased cushion-time, having just made it through a difficult moment for the family, re-reading old books that make it seem doable, or just knowing that my work situation is going to become both less intense and allow me lots of time to dedicate to practising – the goal has seemed so achievable. So I’m shooting for that – I’m shooting for stream-entry.


About AtaraxJim
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