94. He whose senses are mastered like horses well under the charioteer’s control, he who is purged of pride, free from passions, such a steadfast one even the gods envy (hold dear).1

Dhammapada, trans. Walpola Rahula

I wrote about this late last year, but I often forget my own lessons. I am a “Type A” kind of person, and I get so focused on a goal (learning language, Buddhist practice, work, etc), that I forget to be content and enjoy myself. By focusing on the goal too much, I burn myself out.

I have to remind myself that the goal is to suck less, not perfection.

There’s no reason to create artificial goals for myself. Thanks to my wife and daughter, I get Japanese language exposure anyway. When I drive the car with my daughter, we listen to Disney stories on CDs in Japanese language. You can learn a lot just by listening to Aladdin in Japanese over and over again. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As a family, we watch NHK dramas on cable TV every night during dinner. ๆข…ใกใ‚ƒใ‚“ๅ…ˆ็”Ÿ (Ume-chan sensei) is our recent favorite. So why do I need to give myself extra work?

Similarly with learning Japanese kanji with the Heisig Method. Is it necessary to finish by end of 2013? As long as I keep improving, even 1 kanji a day, then I will reach the goal someday. Also, why force myself to learn X kanji a day? Why not be more flexible?

Likewise, with Buddhism, why do I need to give myself things like “meditation goals” and such? If I can learn to be humble, content and have goodwill towards other people, am I not already practicing Buddhism?

Something I thought about today. ๐Ÿ™‚

1 ๆ—ฅๆœฌ่ชžใฎ็ฟป่จณ:

้ฆญ่€…ใซใ‚ˆใฃใฆๅ–„ใ่ชฟๅพกใ•ใ‚ŒใŸ้ฆฌใŸใกใฎใ‚ˆใ†ใซใ€ๅฝผใฎใ€่ซธใ€…ใฎใ€”ๆ„Ÿๅฎ˜ใฎใ€•ๆฉŸ่ƒฝ๏ผˆๆ น๏ผ‰ใŒใ€ๆญขๅฏ‚ใ€”ใฎๅขƒๅœฐใ€•๏ผˆๅฅขๆ‘ฉไป–ใƒปๆญข๏ผ‰ใซ่‡ณใฃใŸใชใ‚‰ใ€ๆ€้‡๏ผˆๆ…ข๏ผ‰ใ‚’ๆจๆฃ„ใ—ใŸ็…ฉๆ‚ฉใชใ่€…ใ‚’ใ€ใใฎใ‚ˆใ†ใช่€…ใงใ‚ใ‚‹ๅฝผใ‚’ใ€ๅคฉใ€”ใฎ็ฅžใ€…ใ€•ใŸใกใ•ใˆใ‚‚็พจใ‚€ใ€‚


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

6 thoughts on “Contentment”

      1. I’m sure you can find such tests online but I have no idea how accurate they are. “Type A” personality is just a general term for people who are goal-driven and workaholic types. I definitely fit that bill.


  1. Tried leaving a comment earlier, but was having issues.
    What strikes me about taking off the focus on being goal-oriented is that it reminds me of Dogen’s approach to Zen – where zazen is the act of Enlightenment and from there I can’t help but think of Shinran where salvation is guaranteed, practice isn’t practice but gratitude. Seems like a good way to let go of the grasping self and not let goals just lead to more Dukkha, but I’m not sure I’d jump into either type of practice without a firm grounding in the basics.

    I’m thinking about starting up “Japanese Saturdays” here around my house. I need something to get me back into studying Japanese. It’s been way too long.


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