Tag Archives: zazen

How do you build self-discipline?

By Spiral Nature | July 19, 2014 | Leave a comment

Spiral Nature Letters, Mailbox background by RaSeLaSeD - Il Penguino, with additional work by Psyche
This question also came in via our newsletter, where we ask, what’s the one thing you’re struggling with in your practice?

If I have to list one thing that I was struggling with, I would probably have to list discipline (or focus). Life is hectic and there is tremendous amount of info coming down the pike to sort through every day.

–Unfocused

This is something I can definitely relate to — I’m sure most of us can! Life gets busy, whether with school, work, kids, personal projects or all of the above — it can be difficult to carve out time to practice.

But it’s simple really, all you have to do is, you know, do it.

Easy peasy, right? You get excited, pumped, start getting really into it. You do all the things. You’re great! Centred, perfect, at the top of the world!

Until…you slip. And feel crappy because you feel like you can’t cut it, and beat yourself up over it. Which leads to avoidance. Which leads to more failure.

Aleister Crowley said that 90% of Thelema is self-discipline, and that applies to magical practice too. Here are a few things to think about to help you maintain momentum:

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Zen: Simply Sitting, by Philippe Coupey

By Psyche | August 3, 2011 | 1 comment

Zen: Simply Sitting, by Philippe CoupeyZen: Simply Sitting: A Zen monk’s commentary on the Fukanzazengi (Universal Guide on the Correct Practice of Zazen) by Master Dogen, by Philippe Coupey
Forward by Lee Lozowick, Translator’s preface by Marc Shaver
Hohm, Press, 1890772615, 114 pp. (incl. notes, glossary and index), 2006

Zen: Simply Sitting is a book in two parts. The first is the text of the Fukanzazengi , written by Master Dogen (1200-1253) in 1227, and later revised into its final form in 1242-1243. It is the final version, the Rufubon, which is reproduced here. As we learn, fukan means “recommended for the people”, meaning that the text is intended for laypeople, not only monks and priest.

The Fukanzazengi is extremely brief, only a few pages long, and it deals with the practice of zazen, seated meditation. Master Dogen describes the correct posture and attitude one should maintain while sitting. His prose is sparse and direct, with clear guidelines on how it should be done. Continue reading