Archives for the month of: February, 2015

shaolin-monk-headstandEvery year, at the mark of the beginning of the Chinese New Year, we take the opportunity to accept the 100 Day Challenge.  The 100 Day Challenge is an old tradition in the Chinese martial arts and self-cultivation community wherein practitioners focus on one specific skill or set of skills for 100 days straight.  This practice can result in substantial improvements in skill, focus, discipline, and of course health.  The 100 day length is important because tradition has it that 3 months of repeated practice will result in a habit.  The particular skill or practice varies depending on the practitioner’s preference.  It can be anything from various martial applications, forms, meditation, Qigong, yoga, physical fitness routines, or mental skills.  It doesn’t have to be new, or difficult, or intense–but it can be.  The practice itself is not as important as the intention and engagement involved in the discipline.

While it can be challenging to stay with the discipline, the practitioner is advised to take it easy but steady.  If one is practicing a physical discipline, it is within the realm of the intention to read related material or write in one’s journal on the days when actually practicing may not be possible due to other life demands.  One is also advised to take a day off from the practice once a week–a day of rest.  It is also recommended that one keep a training journal during the 100 days, to keep track of progress and as a learning tool.

Needless to say, this is a very individual and informal practice.  It is always helpful to get together occasionally with like-minded practitioners for support and sharing of info.  Otherwise, dig in and make a difference.

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bodhidharma

“I truly attained absolutely nothing

from complete, unexcelled enlightenment!”

– The Buddha

 

 

Spiritual awakening is not a state, experience or goal to reach in the future. As the Buddha taught, it is not a superhuman achievement or attainment. You don’t have to travel to India to find it. It is not a special state of perfection reserved for enlightened beings, the lucky or the privileged few. It is not an out-of-body experience, and it does not involve living in a cave, detaching yourself from the realities of this world. It cannot be transmitted to you by a fancy guru, nor can it be taken away or lost. You do not have to become anyone’s disciple or follower. It is a constant and ancient invitation – throughout every moment of your life – to embrace yourself exactly as you are, in all your glorious imperfections. It is about being present, coming out of the epic story of past and future (“the story of my life”) and showing up for this precious moment, knowing that even your feelings of non-acceptance are accepted here. It is about radically opening up to this extraordinary gift of a life, embracing both the pain and the joy of it, the bliss and the sorrow, the ecstasy and the overwhelm. Knowing that you are life itself – vast, awake, alive, free – never separate from the Whole.

Awakening is not a destination – it is your birthright, your nature.

Here are some simple principles:  http://www.lifewithoutacentre.com/essays-transcripts/shockingly-simple-principles-of-spiritual-awakening/