You have to keep practicing (even when you don't want to)
One thing I’ve learned in recent years is that if you want to make progress in your practice, you have to practice consistently, even when you don’t want to. What I mean by this is, say you want to have an OBE. You can wish for it all you want, but wishing alone isn’t going to make it happen. You have to practice. By practice I mean that you have to meditate, you have to practice yoga (correctly, with awareness), you have to have plenty of sleep so you can get to the “mind awake, body asleep” state, and so on.
The reason I think of this tonight is very simple: I don’t feel like practicing. With Valentine’s Day coming up, and the release of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey also coming up, I can tell you that Tequila has other thoughts on his mind, and at the moment, Monk isn’t winning this battle of wills.
Good days, bad days
That being said, I am about to began meditating. What I have been thinking about is this: Friday night was great, I was awake/aware throughout most of my sleep, at least six hours, and I was able to understand a lot of things I couldn’t understand before. The night couldn’t have been better, and when I woke up Saturday morning I had as much energy in my physical body as I’ve had in years.
But then yesterday I was a slacker. While all day Friday I was paying attention to almost every moment and constantly kept reminding myself, “Be here now. Be here, be now,” etc., for most of the day Saturday I was a regular human being, not paying much attention at all to the present moment. So last night I didn’t want to practice, and although I did, I slept like a regular human. I suspect the same thing will happen tonight.
Forming wrinkles in the brain (chopping down trees, opening doors, and other metaphors)
But the important thing is that even though I feel this way, I need to keep practicing, even during my down times like this, because every day of practice is like forming another wrinkle in the brain. I’ve read that enlightenment is both gradual and sudden, and after my experiences of the last 2-3 years I think I know what that means. You keep practicing, practicing, practicing, and maybe you make little baby steps of improvement, and then one day “Whammo!” you’re weeping like a baby over some new understanding.
So even though Tequila would rather do something else, Monk is still at the controls enough that we’re going to spend some time reading and then some time meditating. Nothing may happen tonight, but if we keep working on it, one day another door will open, and then another, and then another ...