A disciple of Discipline
A few days ago I told a student that he would have to dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to Awareness Practice or Meditation in order for our Coaching to succeed. He wrote back: “I don’t know if I have the discipline to follow through with that. My day is pretty full. Isn’t there something easier I could do?”
This struck me as amusing because “15 Minutes” is a bare-minimum requirement I have defined for any kind of psycho-energetic progress.My method to get this student to regard 15 minutes of focus as easy was to contrast it with the other extreme – people who are disciplined 24 hours a day and what kind of people they become because of that.
I told him of the Japanese Buddhist “Marathon Monks” who practice an Art called “Kaihogyo”. This is a method of attaining spiritual Enlightenment through physical endurance. In order to be admitted to their Order, the Petitioner has to run for 1000 days straight (!), up to 84 kilometers a day. The Petitioner is allowed to withdraw from the Training in the first 100 days, but after that he is no longer permitted to give up – he must either complete the 1000 days or take his own life.Most of the running takes places across the Japanese mountain ranges where these particular sects of Buddhism reside, and the runners paths are marked with the graves of many who have perished before them. If you thought winning an Olympic Gold Medal requires discipline, you’ve never heard of these running monks!
It is recorded that since the 15th Century, only 46 men have completed the 1000 days, and only three people have completed them twice (the last one in 1987). Once the 1000-day Training is completed, the Initiate goes on running for 40 to 84 kilometers a day for the next 7 years. The rest of the time he goes into Training Meditation and Calligraphy.
For the modern westerner, this amount of running would appear to be insane and actually prove deadly for all but professional athletes. However, the whole secret here, is that it is only possible if the initiate transcends the body and becomes spiritually very light. That is the only way one could survive it.
After describing this practice to the student, I ended my email with: “Do you still think 15 Minutes of Meditation a day are too much to handle?”
I am not asking anyone to become a superhuman, but just a little bit of daily discipline can make it easier for the “impossible” to suddenly look a little more doable. 15 Minutes of Awareness Practice (Mind-Techniques, Meditation, Reality Creation, Journaling, Conscious Writing, Planning, Prayer, Yoga, Breathing-Technique, Visualization-Training, etc.) a day set the tone for the rest of the day. They allow you to experience and perceive nuances of mind, body and consciousness that you would not perceive had you not meditated. And these nuances make all the difference between a successful day and a wasted one. If you adjust your compass even only very slightly, your ship will end up somewhere very different in a few years than had you never adjusted it.