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
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. 😉 As a family, we watch NHK dramas on cable TV every night during dinner. 梅ちゃん先生 (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. 🙂