Lojong Slogan #41: Two Activities: One at the Beginning, One at the End

This slogan is generally interpreted as referring to each 24-hour day as a period of practice. At the beginning of our day, we may find it beneficial to take some time to think about what we want to accomplish during the coming day. This doesn’t refer to a to-do list, it refers instead to how we will approach everything we encounter. This is our intention. Remember slogan #6 states that all activities should be done with one intention, approached with mindfulness and gentleness. So that is what we want to think about at the beginning of the day. It gently sets our sail for the day and helps to remind us of the approach we are trying to take. It doesn’t mean we will always remember this (we won’t) but we will remember it more and more often if we continue to practice this way.

At the end of our day, we may also wish to pause and examine the events of the day and how we responded to them. Did we meet our intentions, or were we swept away? Finding out what sets us off and activates our monkey mind is important information for us to work with. Keep in mind that there should be no judgment here–no chiding ourselves for what we did or didn’t do or that we forgot our intention in certain instances or with certain people. We are not keeping score, we are merely moving, ever so gently, in the direction we want to go. If we continue to practice, we will get there in good time.