Be Mindful of Your Own Doings

An old friend of mine wanted me to be a part of her fitness motivation group on Facebook. There’s only 9 of us; I am not familiar with any of them aside from my friend. The goal is every day we post our workout, notable food happenings, comments about injury or achievement and we encourage each other to keep moving throughout the fall and winter when it’s easy to get complacent.

I mentioned at the end of September that I wanted to do the 100 Days of Running and one girl piped up with “that sounds like fun!” Sure enough, she’s doing it. Day after day, I’ve watched her post: 1.5 miles, 14:50, 1.5 miles 16.30, it was windy LOL, 1.5 miles, 15:00, the dog paced me. Etc.

Today’s post said “Day 20, 1/5th of the way! Another 1.5!” and my first instinct was to tell her how lame she is. A mile and a half every single day, never more. What kind of challenge is that? I did 28 miles last week! Hmph. Grumble.

But, I know this is petty. I know this is not the right way to think. I am reminded of an old Buddhist quote that I read more than once over the years:

It is not proper to watch other people. This will not help your practice. If you are annoyed, watch the annoyance in your own mind. If others’ discipline is bad or they are not good monks, this is not for you to judge. You will not discover wisdom watching others. The monk’s discipline is a tool to use for your own meditation. It is not a weapon with which to criticize or find fault in others. No one can do your practice for you, nor can you do practice for anyone else. Just be mindful of your own doings, and this is the way to practice. (Achaan Chaa, A Still Forest Pool)

My dad used to tell me this when I was a teenager and quick to judge others I deemed lazy. I haven’t learned. I am ashamed at my own immaturity and lack of humility.

I must practice compassion. For all I know, that’s all she can do. For all I know, she is coping with a physical infirmity or recovering from one, and a mile and a half per day is a huge, massive accomplishment for her.

She has her own path to walk and I have mine. That is all I need to know.

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