The Freedom in Discipline, Episode 124

The discipline of regular practice can look like a painful constraint but – as Lizzie says in this week’s conversation – when we approach practice with intention and kindness it can bring us an extraordinary freedom from our habits, preferences, and ways of going to sleep to our lives. A conversation about the gifts of the enabling constraints that we choose for ourselves, and the ways in which practice can help us bring our goodness to others, with Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.

This is Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living. Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. We’re also on YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google and Spotify. You can find videos of every episode, and more about the project on the Turning Towards Life website.

Here’s our source for this week, chosen for us by Lizzie:

The Freedom in Discipline

When discipline begins to be natural, a part of you, it is very important to learn to let go. For the warrior, letting go is connected with relaxing within discipline, in order to experience freedom. Freedom here does not mean being wild or sloppy; rather it is letting yourself go so that you fully experience your existence as a human being. Letting go is completely conquering the idea that discipline is a punishment for a mistake or a bad deed you have committed, or might like to commit.

You have to completely conquer the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with your human nature and that therefore you need discipline to correct your behaviour. As long as you that feel that discipline comes from outside, there is still a lingering feeling that something is lacking in you. So letting go is connected with letting go of any vestiges of doubt or hesitation or embarrassment about being you as you are.

You have to relax with yourself in order to fully realise that discipline is simply the expression of your basic goodness. You have to appreciate yourself, respect yourself, and let go of your doubt and embarrassment so that you can proclaim your goodness and basic sanity for the benefit of others.

Chögyam Trungpa, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Photo by Farsai Chaikulngamdee on Unsplash