Recently, I have been listening to Phillip Moffitt’s recordings on the Nine Bodies. (ninebodies.com) or from his book entitled Awakening through the Nine Bodies: Explorations in Consciousness for Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Practitioners.
One inspiration I’d like to share is the renunciations he suggests as you are going into a retreat. I never really liked the word renunciation as I have a very strong “don’t tell me what to do” voice within. I also don’t like to be limited or have disciplined rules. However, I have come to understand “renunciation” as a kind of loving vow to develop my alignment with the good within me and with my aspirations for loving action. I have learned that a good “No” can be very helpful in life. It doesn’t mean to obliterate myself but rather to allow for space to develop myself from a different place – a place of spirituality and love. It is part of the awareness that helps me move away from my repetitive, habitual, patterns and karma. If discipline comes from love not punishment, we can, indeed, learn and grow.
The renunciations for Moffitt’s retreats are:
- Guarding one’s sense gates from the judging mind – am I doing this right or wrong, and evaluating our practice
- Comparing mind – everyone is getting it and I’m not. Someone is above or below me.
- Fixing mind – what do I have to do to get me where I want to be. Believing that control or manipulation of conditions will help me arrive.
I renounce judging mind as best I am able.
I renounce comparing mind as best I am able.
I renounce fixing mind as best I am able
He adds the beautiful phrase as best as I am able. Which in and of itself leads to present moment acceptance and encourages “no judgement, no comparing, and no fixing.” It helps us to drop away from fighting within ourselves and develops patience with the disappointments of practice and life.
I laughed when I heard these vows and thought – Oh these are instructions for all of life, for everyday. This allows my most settled self to step forward.