“If you can make something a habit through ritual, then it’s very easy to think you’ve mastered something. I think people like that instant gratification, that feeling of mastery. However, for a habit to be effective, there can’t be a deviation from the environment in which the habit was trained. I got up from the cushion one day and realized it really wasn’t going to help me.
“Thus the necessity of the guru in our practice to keep us honest.”
My earliest memory of deliberately sitting and watching my mind dates back to 7 year old me so I can’t imagine my ever not taking advantage of every opportunity in my life to do so.
To paraphrase my guru, 93 year old Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, I get to stop doing as such only after I die.
This isn’t to say that it never gets old for 58 year old me, it does.
Thus the importance of my guru yoga, my internalization of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s presence in my mind stream that I have habituated myself in relying upon to keep me honest over the course of our 36 years together as guru and disciple.
50 year old me never would have survived the widow maker in 2009 as I did, I sat down, folded my legs, adjusted my posture as I have done since I was 7 years old, and put my life in Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s hands, visualizing Amitabha while reciting Om Mani Padme Hung, just as he instructed me to do when I asked him how to die, a preoccupation of mine since my 40 year old father died of a heart attack in 1972.