Sloth is one of the 7 deadly sins – gluttony, lust, envy, wrath, pride and envy, and it is not something I thought I had an issue with. But it is a creeping sin, and it is a sin that does have a devestating effect. The problem is my day. For a day to be good it fits in with Nature. Listening to Tan Ajaan’s audios there are the cocks crowing in the morning. He is giving these talks at that time because it is the best time as the mind is empty – paraphrasing. I agree as I have woken a number of times with the mind being challenged then.
Now my day is not a problem because I don’t do enough, that doesn’t matter – I am retired. I am bothered that I am not spiritual enough, and that means meditation. As always there is a need to prioritise meditation, and at the moment it is not sufficient enough priority. And the cause of this is sloth, and what I allow to cause the sloth. I don’t go to bed early enough, and why don’t I? Because of TV. I allow the stuff I watch to relax and wind down at the end of the day shape the next day. This is absolutely stupid.
There is another aspect of sloth, and that is my evening meal. My weight is good so the food I eat is not a problem; the structure of my eating in a day is. I tend to have an early afternoon meal and an evening meal. This is not a healthy way of eating as it is best to have drips and drabs during the day, but my life is already too dominated by food – imposed on me by BigFood. But where sloth comes in is that I eat too much in the evening and then I go to sleep later whilst watching pointless TV. Eat less and make sure I go to bed early so that I can get up on time for morning meditation.
There is another problem with meditation. Once I finish meditation I do study and start chores. Then I prepare for the rest of the day – beach, Trat or teaching. The mind supposedly is emptied at meditation, and it just keeps filling and filling throughout the rest of the day. This contributes to the sloth because as the mind fills the easier the self allows what I am calling my sloth to take over. I need to take time out in the day to meditate. The mind does not have to keep filling and filling, make efforts to be sunnata rather than atta. One such session should be prior to “the rest of the day”. After first meditation do my chores and write my blogs, then meditate before teaching etc.
Structure of no sloth day
5.00 am Meditation
6.00 am Chores and Blog
10.00 am Rest of day – in or out. Try to slot in sunnata time during rest of day.
6.00 pm Rest of day finished – meditate.
Small meal and minimal entertainment
9.00 pm Bed