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Lojong 20 Practice even when distracted.

5. Yardsticks (16 - 20)

(Become aware when I am distracted).

This saying is near and dear to me since like so many others, I struggle with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).  I find it amusing that so many people who are critical of those who struggle with this, are merely unaware of their own issues in this area. 

I admit that when I was a child and adolescent my difficulties may have been worse.  I was a terrible student until I got to college.  Parents of children with this problem take heart, I now have a PhD, a post professional masters in healthcare administration, and a number of high level Certifications.  In college, I began my meditation practice and my beginning work in self-discovery by majoring in psychology. 

In practice, the method underlying this saying is the same as that for developing mindfulness.  When I become aware that I am distracted, I simply return to the present moment, task at hand, person I am with, or whatever is appropriate (in that moment).  As I develop more skill at becoming aware of those moments when my distraction (lack of mindfulness) begins, these become much easier to deal with.

The position of the Practical Dharma is that we are all only human and live in a real world.  Based on this, the goal of the Practical Dharma is not to transend to perfect enlightenment, but merely to be in this moment more often.  There are many sayings that address this issue, like Lojong 26 Give up hoping for results.  (Especially, hoping that all of this effort will result in perfect enlightenment.) 

In this real world, the "best" I can hope for is to beecome aware when I am distracted.


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