The Power of Repetition

Morning Service. That’s a ceremony. It happens after morning meditation. It happens every day of the year. And it is more or less the same, every single day of the year. For people new to our practice who maybe come for an introductory retreat ceremonial can be a bit of a challenge. It was for me when I first started going to Throssel as a lay woman.

To cut a potentially long post short the answer to the challenge is simple. Firstly one is not required to adopt a particular attitude of mind, or feel a certain way while taking part in a ceremony. For example it is not a requirement to be devotional while singing or grateful when bowing or feel wonderful or uplifted. Or even like it. Morning service, any ceremony, is an overtly religious activity within which one sits still and acts in concert with others. Singing, bowing, chanting, turning, sitting, standing. Doing the best one can.

As with participating in overtly religious activities such as morning service so it is with seemingly mundane daily activities. The inner aspect or quality of mind (sitting still) is exactly the same what ever is happening. That quality of mind is not a practice or quality as such it is simply our True Nature which does not come or go, nor does it need perfecting. The deeper challenge of ceremonial (or whatever) is to accept that. Deeply. Trouble is we imagine there is something lost to find and something broken to fix or improve upon. Tah!

There is a certain something in repetition, a blessing really, that propels one through to acceptance. You could call that faith I guess.

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6 thoughts on “The Power of Repetition”

  1. Morning Service. Sometimes uplifted. Sometimes not. Sometimes so sleepy I can’t stop yawning. It is like the tide. Forever constant yet ever changing. Sometimes it is high tide and we can see the sea close up and at other times it is far, far away. But always there.

    Morning service. The slipway down which the boat must run to meet the sea.

    Please forgive the romantic imagery. Its just my naive way of saying things.

  2. A friend once asked if, in respect to practicing Buddhism, it was necessary to have faith in something or someone…my initial reaction was no, then added that for me one way in which faith was expressed was getting out of a warm bed early on cold dark winter mornings to sit in meditation. Whether one wanted to or not.


  3. I’d return the gassho but for the fact I can’t find one of the hands on my keyboard to complete. And we all know a one handed gassho doesn’t cut it.

  4. How much I relate to that getting out of bed early, dark winter morning. Triple leap of faith I’d say. Thanks Tim and nice to see you in these parts again.

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