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Buddhadharma : Fall 2010
31 fall 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly arise. When you feel ready, rest in medita- tion free of reference points for as long as you can. When you finish your meditation, if you like, take time to write about your insights and experiences. then continue with the next contemplation in the same way. When you’ve thoroughly explored each of the contemplations below, you can begin to incorporate what you have learned about yourself as a practitioner into your dharma vision. even if you have been practicing for a long time, you may be surprised at what you find lacking in your practice when you have taken an honest look. many of my stu- dents find great inspiration in this process to increase their diligence and to focus on areas needing attention. Don’t forget to practice compassion for yourself. appreciate the past efforts you have already made and include the efforts you are willing to make to become the excellent practitioner you have envisioned. one of the biggest obstacles we might find we have as practitioners is that we lack a sense of urgency about the need to practice. this is caused by our strong experience of self-attachment. self-attachment is expressed in many different ways. for example, we might think, “let me just enjoy my life right now; let me enjoy this particular moment.” We put off practice for a later time, which we fail to realize may never come. the best time to practice, the best time to prepare for the reality of death, and the best time to clarify our own dharma visions, is the present. Don’t waste a moment. having a sense of urgency about practice could cause us to overestimate ourselves, or to want to skip over the hard work of devel- oping a solid and stable base of daily practice. as you create your dharma vision, make an effort to balance idealism with realism. We may all wish to be great yogis like milarepa or longchenpa, but our capacity is more likely to be one of an ordinary practitioner. so we should reflect realistically on where we are now in our practice and what kind of practitioner we wish to become that is not June Crow holds a photograph of herself with her teacher, the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, as he completes a calligraphy.