I didn’t realize ‘Discipline’ was so polarizing

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About five days ago I posted a video on my YouTube Channel called “A Disciplined Liberation“. (I’ll embed the video below as well, You’re welcome, lol.)
Obviously, the primary subject matter of the video was the idea of ‘discipline’, especially as it relates to Zen practice, meditation, and the concepts of freedom, realization, awakening, and liberation. I’m going to cut myself short here, otherwise I’ll just end up rambling a re-recitation of the whole video, and come on, none of us have time for that shit.

In all honesty, as selfish and narcissistic as this may sound, when I create content, I create it for myself, first and foremost. It’s about what I’m curious about, what I’ve been thinking about, what I’ve been reading, what I’ve been pondering and stewing on, what I’ve been fixated on and, more than likely, what I’m obsessing about. In other words, when I’m writing, filming, and creating I’m not giving a lot of thought to how you all are going to receive it or how you’re going to react and respond to it. (Hopefully that doesn’t make me sound like a complete asshole). Don’t get me wrong, I hope you guys like what I make, I hope you’ll enjoy it, and find value in it, and I make every effort to give you my best but, ultimately that’s not exactly my primary concern when I’m in the thick of the creating process.

Long story short, when I put out this video about ‘discipline’ I just didn’t know or realize how polarizing the topic would be to those that watched it. In the comments that followed across several different social media platforms, it became clear that most people seemed to fall on one of two sides of the subject; there are those that emphasize and relish the ‘strictness’ of disciplined practice and those that see ‘discipline’ as stifling to practice, as antithetical to the meditative pursuit, and as contrary to the Buddhist process.

If you watched the video, you know where I fall on the spectrum, at least where I fall at the moment. But, that’s not to say that those who disagreed with me didn’t have very valid and well thought out points to counter those that I presented in the video. And that’s what I love most about making videos and releasing content, the push-back, the counter-arguments that I didn’t see coming or didn’t anticipate. Often, its these kinds of engagements where the real learning occurs for me. It helps me to see the topic in a different way, from a different perspective, and in a different light. Sometimes it just highlights where I went wrong, where I was unclear, or where I didn’t communicate as effectively or as efficiently as I could or should have.

In the case of this video, I jumped straight into explaining the importance of discipline without ever taking the time to explain what I meant by ‘discipline’, that is, I never clearly defined how I define discipline. I think that maybe that would have made a difference. So I think I’m going to spend some more time thinking about the subject and maybe follow up with another video. What do you think?

Published by duanetoops

Husband, father, fledgling Buddhist, struggling meditator, writer, and content creator. He has a BA in Religion, has taken the Precepts and Refuge vows in the TsaoTung Chan lineage, and is currently completing an MA in Humanities.

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