Satya writes: This year I have committed to chant the nembutsu (a kind of Buddhist spiritual mantra) one million times.
I’m not entirely sure how it happened. A fellow sangha member in Hawaii set the challenge, and I’d already decided I definitely wasn’t going to do it. At least 2800 recitations a day? I don’t have time for that!
On the third day of January I joined Kaspa when he did his chanting. The next day I did it again, and then I thought, well, I might as well do the year now…
Most of the things that are worth doing are difficult to do, at least some of the time. I’ve said before that the most important things in my life (writing books, being a psychotherapist) are also the most difficult things. It’s where the good stuff is.
I’ve already had a few mornings where I didn’t want to do my chanting at all. I got up too late and was in a rush to get to my desk, or I just felt outrageously bored in the middle.
What helps me to get through these times (and all the other difficult times) is perseverance. Not a forceful pushing-myself, but a gentle coming back to the thing-I’m-doing. Over and over and over again.
I think that our perseverance muscles get stronger if we exercise them. My spiritual practice this year will help me with this, as will the regular mindful writing I do – daily small stones, writing in my journal.
What helps you? Do let me know in the comments, and decide if you’d like to re-commit if you’ve fallen off the wagon.
Perseverance is also one of our themes on the e-course I’m running this month starting tomorrow – Writing & Spiritual Practice. If you’d like to explore your own relationship with perseverance (and clear-seeing, praise & faith) through mindful writing with daily emails, exercises and a private online group, sign up here. Kaspa is also running a lovely e-course to help you Find Your Way Home. We still have a bit of space on each course.
Singing bowl by Shezamm