Successes and New Reading Goals

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!

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9 comments

  1. This is very inspiring! Good for you, and your comment of “I might need to be even more aggressive with my goals” really resonates with me personally. Love it. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration and I wish you continued good reading 🙂 Namaste

    1. Thank you for your encouragement also, friend. May you have great success in meeting (and exceeding) your own goals in life. Be well!

  2. I have never heard of Uposatha days. I am off to research it.

    One practice I have really taken up is the Buddhist monastic precept (?) of not eating after noon. Or more specifically, not taking an evening meal. I’m finding that it works really well for me. I have a main meal for lunch. And that way I am able to meditate of an evening without a full tummy, and feeling tired.

    1. I adopted this monastic precept fairly consistently on work-days up until the Christmas holiday, after which it has been sorta here-and-there. I’m working my way back to it though.

      On the Uposatha observance: Access to Insight has at least two pages that I find useful (and can find quickly):
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sila/uposatha.html
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.041.vaka.html

      While I find that my observance is somewhat imperfect, I feel that it still offers a great opportunity to reflect on many features of daily life which are not particularly wholesome yet seem so terribly difficult from which to untangle.

      I wish you good fortune in your research and practice, friend. 🙂 Be well!

      1. That is WONDERFUL information – thank you 😀

        I really enjoy reading your blog – thank you so much _/\_

      2. I’m interested to know – which Uposatha days do you follow? The new moon and the full moon according to the lunar cycle? Or do you have a different calendar or dates you follow?

        Thanks my friend – blessings to you, Meg

      3. My intention has been to observe the New, Full, First, and Last Quarter moon dates, and I follow the calendar provided by the Forest Sangha: http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf1/forest-sangha-calendar-2013.pdf

        This simpler calendar on Access to Insight is effectively the same (as far as I can tell):
        http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sila/uposatha2013.html

        Your welcome! 🙂 May your observance be of great benefit!

      4. Oh I’ve been eagerly awaiting your reply, however Word Press didn’t notify me. Thank you for this! :-). And I’m especially delighted to see that today is a Uposatha day. I will be paying special attention today.

        Blessings, Meg

      5. You’re quite welcome! 🙂

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