are we nearly there yet?

स तु दिर्घ काल-बैरन्तर्य-सत्कारासेवीतो दृढ-भुमिः

sa tu digha kāla nairantarya satkārāsevīto dṛḍha bhumiḥ

 

it (practice), but, long/extended, period of time, without interruption/ continuous, with reverence, solid/firm, ground.

For practice to become effective at undoing or rewiring the citta vṛtti it must be established over a lengthy period of time, it must be continuous and with reverence, or an attitude of supplication – then there is a firm ground for citta vṛtti nirodha.

Edwin Bryant’s analogy of a garden best illustrates this. In order for a garden to flourish, the earth must be prepared, nourished, cultivated, then seeds can be planted, which in turn require care. Once the garden is in full bloom (after we have tended it with attention and love) we still cannot simply stop gardening or weeds will take root. In this analogy the plants are the citta vṛtti some are intended to be present, some we plant and encourage, the weeds are also citta vṛtti, these we need to remove. We cannot simply cut them down we need to pull them out from the root and still part of the nature of a garden (mind) is that it is exposed to the world around it so other seeds will be blown to the earth and try to take root. The conscientious practitioner knows that we cannot take a holiday from tending the garden of our mind or if we do, there may be a fair bit of maintenance to do when we get back!

 

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