Self-discipline gets us 

from where we are 

to where we want to be. 

Let’s consider self-discipline from two aspects.

First, everyday self-discipline will help us accomplish what we want to with less frustration and disappointment. It’s a tool we can use when we don’t feel like doing something and want to put it off. Again. With self-discipline, we take ourselves by the proverbial lapels, look ourselves in the eye, and say “Nope. You’ll do it now.” Once we accomplish what we have to do, we will feel good.

Second, moral self-discipline will help us navigate through the mire of situations and relationships we encounter on a daily basis. By having a moral compass—for example, the precepts of no killing, no stealing, and no false speech—we will have the means to check our bearings to make sure we’re headed in the right direction. That we’re not getting lead astray again by our bad habits.

Getting quickly back on track will mean we’ll arrive at our destination sooner.

And with less pain.



Circumstances—favorable and unfavorable—provide practice opportunities. (Click image for video)


The situation isn’t bad or good; 

it all depends on what we tell ourselves. 

In Buddhism, we hear about turning afflictions into bodhi.

In effect, it is transforming negative thoughts into awakened ones. How? We stop viewing a situation as trying and see it in a favorable light. For example, we change “that yapping dog is driving me crazy!” to “that dog is helping me develop patience.”

Now I can assure you from personal experience that it’s much easier to type the previous sentence than do it.

The dog really is annoying, and I’m trying to write. So, how can I transform here? Well, for one thing, my patience can always stand some work. And since it can only be practiced in adverse conditions, a yapping dog is a winner. So, thank you, dog! Noisy as you are, you are helping me out. Thinking about 365 topics to write is challenging. Using this barking dog is an example of about turning afflictions into Bodhi, of changing a negative thought into one that benefits others.

And more patience always helps.


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