Training in Success

Happy Kids

For me sitting is almost like training in success. Almost? Always! I succeed every time I sit down. I succeed when I notice my attention has wandered from the breath. I succeed when I realize I have lost equanimity, I succeed when I notice my craving to achieve the first jhana, I succeed in seeing the path to enlightenment. Every time!

And even now as I write this, I can feel the urge to turn this success into failure – to somehow say: “Do you really think it’s like this, living? Success, over and over again?” Although I don’t fully believe that this is what “living” is but, rather, “This is what it’s like to be me.”

And this is what it’s like!

There is a breath of joy in it, and that breath is my breath. I open my heart to receive it.


photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

2 thoughts on “Training in Success

  1. Chris, thanks for sharing your journey along the Buddhist Path. I like that you see your practice as worthwhile despite the perceived ups and downs.

    I’d like to suggest another way of looking at it. The Buddha taught that there are eight worldly conditions that come in four opposing pairs.

    Gain – Loss
    Praise – Blame
    Fame – Disrepute
    Pleasure – Pain

    Essentially, we can see suffering/dukkha in the conditioned world when viewed through the lens of the “Eight Worldly Dhammas (Concerns, Conditions).” See The Lokavipatti Sutta @

    Success and Failure are both impermanent and subject to change. Attachment to either one is a recipe for unhappiness. When we note the arising of success we simply note its arising knowing that it is fleeting and will soon pass. There’s no need to hang on to it, cultivate it, or look for it.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Dan – it’s really helpful! And I appreciate being directed to the relevant sutta. My acquaintance with the source texts is still very limited!

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