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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2005-05-24
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Homework: The Seven Factors of Enlightenment: Energy

Be truthful and assess the amount of energy you bring to your spiritual growth. What is your honest commitment to being awake? What priority does opening your heart have in your life? What holds you back from greater urgency? When do you feel this urgency, when do you not? Are you more likely to practice during difficult times or when your life is going well?

As an exercise, pick a difficult daily activity, such as conversing with someone or planning a project. Practice mindfulness throughout the activity. Make mindfulness of the activity the priority. After the activity, assess how mindful you were. What, if anything, kept you from being aware? How forced was the effort? Why does your effort toward spiritual growth wax and wane with your agenda?

As preparation for doing this exercise a second time, reflect on your mortality. Look at your mortality deeply without denial and see that you could in fact die at any time. Maintain this fact during the exercise. As you go through the activity say to yourself, “This could be the last time I do this act, the last time I speak to this person, the last time I plan for this occasion.” Where was the focus of your energy this second time? How does reflecting on your mortality affect your effort?

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