Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Further Ruminations On The Second Noble Truth

"There was a leper who lived in the forest and suffered from terrible pain and itching. The only way he could relieve himself was to dig a huge hole, fill it with burning wood - thereby creating hot charcoal - and rub his afflicted body against the charcoal. He could only get relief by creating another kind of suffering.
The story goes that he was cured and moved to the city to lead a normal life. Sometime later he had occasion to return to the forest, and there he saw lepers relieving himself as he had once done, rubbing themselves against hot charcoal. He couldn't watch. It was just too painful.
...In order to relieve ourselves from one suffering - our yearning - we create another, with all the things we run after to relieve it. A healthy person who has gotten over the illness we suffer from, finds it painful to watch us, putting ourselves through all this suffering in the hope of relieving suffering.
If this doesn't sound right to you - if it doesn't seem that desire is suffering - then there's no problem. Just go around desiring things and trying to satisfy yourself the way everyone else does. Our culture is built around that activity. We have the greatest consumer culture in the world. We create more and more things to do, better this and better that. We don't, however, seem to get happier and happier."

- Larry Rosenberg, ("Breath by Breath")

In training, and in life, we react to our situations and circumstances, often unthinkingly. We succumb to our monkey mind. We have an itch, and we scratch it. We eat when we are not particularly hungry. We train when we should rest. We get lost and, instead of retracing our steps, we redouble our efforts and pick up the pace. We get angry, or sad, or jealous, or happy, or content and then we marinate in it. We try to re-live the moment, good or bad, that has already passed, over and over again.

"Lean into a problem; lean so far that you might just lean right through it."

- Seth Godin ("The Dip")

I confess. I'm a training addict. I get grumpy when I'm not "allowed" to put in my reps. I feel entitled to my time with the iron. I "covet" training time and results. In the middle of a long set of kettlebell snatches or jerks, I feel discomfort and, more often than not, I run away from it. Rather lean into "the problem", I recoil from it. But every set and every moment is an opportunity to "train" and improve and reign in the monkey mind.

No comments: