Daily Exercise II
From the earlier Daily Exercises (Vesak Exercises), one should have determined certain traits about oneself. One should become aware of certain patterns in one’s life that may be beneficial or harmful. With that in mind, it is then time to move to the next stage: Practice!
1. Practice Day
After identifying a certain affliction or situation that brings about unhappiness, choose a day of the week to do a counter-practice. Just one practice once a week.
Example 1, Tuesday No Criticism Day. You will be mindful of your speech on Tuesday and abstain from criticising anyone or anything at all.
Example 2, Monday Happy Day. You will be mindful of your emotions and mental states for that whole day and maintain your peace of mind and be happy for that day.
Example 3, Friday Helpful Day. You will be mindful of those around you and will strive to help anyone who need your help. You will not say no to anyone who asks you for your help. Granted, such help should be within the premise of the precepts and not lead to other defilements.
If say, you find that you have the habit of criticising others and their actions or work, and would like to stop that habit, you may adopt a Tuesday No Criticism Day as in example 1.
If you have a wholesome quality and would like to further strengthen it, you could also identify a day each week to work on it.
Initially, you may want to choose one or two days a week to do such practices for a few weeks. Every fortnightly or monthly, you may review your progress with a venerable and adjust your practice. After three to six months, you may have a final review and closure on that practice and choose to renew it or adopt a new practice.
later stage, you may slowly increase the number of practice days until you have one practice per day!
2. Practice Week
This is similar to the above practice and differs only in duration. You choose a week in a month to practice a certain quality or precept earnestly. For example, one may choose a week to practice dana, or patience. Or one could strive to have no anger for a week.
Hope this one year had been good to you, and you to others. Write in and let us know what worked and what did not work for you. 🙂