Uposatha days are a great opportunity to reflect upon one’s recent failings and renew vigor toward the goal of restraint and practice, but one can also look back and see the successes one has had. Both practices can tend toward the same goal, and it is good to see the positive side of things — this can lead to us pushing ourselves a little harder, striving a little more, knowing that we can supersede our own expectations.
Some may recall in April when I set a goal to complete my first reads of the Majjhima Nikāya and the Digha Nikāya by year-end 2013. At the time, I felt like this was a rather ambitious goal — 4 pages a day seemed like a lot to accomplish, but with my completion of the Digha in August and Majjhima two days ago, I’ve realized that I might need to be even more aggressive with my goals.
Fact is, I’ve not only completed these two mammoth texts earlier than anticipated, but in the same span of time I’ve finished two other books totaling around 900 pages themselves.
So I’ve started to read a copy of The Buddhist Monastic Code Volume 2, which covers the Khandhakas, the second division of the Vinaya Pitaka which lays out monastic rules and practice. This 590 page book, at around 10 pages per day, should probably be completed by mid-March. This represents what appears to be the current speed with which I can read these texts and have a modicum of memory retention (not memorization, clearly, but I’m not really striving for memorization).
I’ll be fully content finishing it by April, but if I don’t set the idea in my mind to finish it earlier, the motivation might just not be there.
I hope that you are meeting and exceeding all of your own personal goals, and may you be at ease this Uposatha day, my friends. Be well!