Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Discipline or Addiction

I now have written my blog conscientiously for 37 days. I've only missed one day except for the time I was in Florida. I'm proud of myself. If I continue on this pace for the next ten years I will have written over 3000 blogs. That's a little scary since I will have to come up with 3000 different thoughts, stories, or ideas. Actually, that's not a problem.

The problem is keeping myself motivated to believe that I actually have something to say, that there is some value in doing this. For years I have been disciplined in ways that very few people are. What I consider discipline might also be addiction or neurosis based on guilt of not following through or giving up. Let me give some examples.

#1- When I was nineteen I went to a lecture given by the Maharishi. My mother went with me. She was supportive of my interest in spiritual pursuits. The Maharishi said that if I meditated twice a day for twenty minutes each time I would reach bliss consciousness in five years. I did this for five years, hardly missing a session. My wife would get irritated with me at times for disrupting the family schedule, bit I did not want to miss my twenty minute session.
After five years I did not reach bliss consciousness. I went back to the Maharishi and told him that I had not achieved the goal. He said, "Do it for another five years." So I did and after five more years, hardly missing a session, not reaching bliss consciousness, I decided to try something else.

#2- Every day for the last thirty two years I have been doing Yoga. I've missed on average maximum of ten days per year. I stand on my head for four minutes every single day and do at least six or seven other postures. It usually takes me thirty minutes. I can't leave the house without doing my exercises. My new wife sometimes gets irritated with me for my fanaticism and that it takes me so long to get ready in the morning.

#3- I walk thirty minutes a day. I have been doing this for eighteen years. I remember the first day I did it, thinking it might be a good idea to get some exercise now that my basketball career was winding down. I haven't missed many days during this time except when my back goes out and I can't walk (which happens once a year for four or five days.) No one seems irritated by this except myself. I get a gnawing pain if I haven't walked; I feel pressure each day until I have completed my walk.

#4- For the last thirty years, no exaggeration, I have fasted at least once a year for a minimum of five days and as many as twelve. Fasting is horrible and tortuous. I dread these fasts. During the entire time I am fasting I dream about food. My wife gets more than irritated with me. First of all she thinks it's harmful; secondly she doesn't like to eat alone. Also I don't smell too great during these fasts; everyone who comes into contact with me suffers.

I think I have benefited from these disciplines. Matter of fact I'm almost sure of it. I wonder if I'll feel that way after 3000 blogs.

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