Develop a disciplined practice and go one step at a time

May 3, 2021

QUESTION
Hello!

Hope you are doing well! Can’t put in words how valuable my connection with you is/would be! I won’t bore you with explaining how and why, for now.

For an introduction, as I mentioned in the instagram message, I have my day job, but my other job which is actually usually the mainstream is being involved in Tibetan Buddhism, psychology and anything related. Practicing, studying, reading, writing, all that. This has been going on for years with receiving non-structured teachings/mentorings and what I feel right now is that I really have to get into a discipline and do something more organized. My efforts and passion are just so scattered and I think I may be able to do something better with this energy if there is more guidance and discipline into it.

Thank you and much love to you,
J

ANSWER
Happy to hear from you, J!

Glad to hear about your “other job” as you put it. Excellent.

What you’re doing is good — studying, doing some practice. But perhaps it’d help if you tell me what practice you do every day, and what studies, if any, you’ve engaged in. I’m happy to help!

As you must know with any body of knowledge, to further ourselves within it we need a coherent plan and, crucially, discipline.

All the best,
Robina

QUESTION
Hi 🙂

Thank you for your reply.

Discipline, and a plan is exactly what I am looking for I guess.

Over the years, I have been doing different types of meditation. Shamatha is a regular practice which I do every day. I do other meditations like Tonglen, Vajrasattva and Green Tara, accompanied with visualizations, but not following a discipline.

I know the concepts, such as Lam Rim, Tantra, mahamudra, equanimity, emptiness, etc and I constantly study/meditate around these topics and anything related to Tibetan Buddhism.

I have never had a female teacher and sometimes I think that matters. I am very interested in where Tibetan Buddhism and psychology intersect and complement each other. I used to go to one of the FPMT centers for meditation and talks before Covid. I follow many teachers in FPMT.

Best wishes,
J

ANSWER
Basically, J, you have all the components of a good practice! I rejoice.

A good practice means

— something in the morning

— purification practice in the evening

— and some study and retreat.

You’re doing beautifully! 

Have you taken refuge formally? Any vows or commitments?
Robina

QUESTION
Hello 🙂 

I had not thought about the good practice in the structured way that you mentioned. Makes sense.

No, I have not taken refuge formally. Please let me know if you have any specific thoughts around that. I come from a background in which I have some feelings around making vows and commitments just in general. Although, as my therapist puts it, I am the most committed non-committed person. I think I run away from the word because I take commitment very seriously and so it becomes a complicated relationship with what I am committed to, but because of the same reason I do whatever a committed person might do anyway.

Thank you,
J

ANSWER
Delighted to hear from you, dearest J!

As for refuge, if and when you feel it’s appropriate, you’ll do it. No hurry. You’re doing well as you are!

Robina

ANSWER
Hello Robina,

After attending your last night’s Tara teachings, I was doing a Tara practice and playing with images in my mind. Visualizing. I was thinking about Tara’s qualities that are aspiring for me including determination and clarity, non-duality and they lead me to your image. Because I get those from you too. While doing all this, I found something else in Tara and immediately after, in you. That’s unconditional wise love, as a mother’s love. And that’s a theme in my life, feelings of loneliness, isolation, emptiness (not in the Buddhist context but as in feeling empty). Thus, I look for comfort everywhere, like a junkie as you say! Somehow then, you became that source that gave me that feeling of safety. I suddenly thought that I could come to you in my mind, when I need unconditional love, compassion and understanding. The reflection of your energy, your actions and speech and your association with the Buddhist definition of “love” which in my opinion is the ultimate form of loving, also quite idealistic, has told me subtly that you could give me that safety and love. And I mean, you are already doing so by teaching. But I also mean in a more mundane way, as if you were seeing me crying, I think you would have taken my hand at least I felt so in my visualizations.

That’s all!
Thank you for all of the above!
J

ANSWER
Good to hear from you, J!

Thank you for telling me your experiences. Perfect. You are on the right track, that’s for sure!

Keep moving, just keep moving, one step at a time.

Much love,
Robina

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