Meditation on Discipline
March 8, 2021
"Discipline" is a term used for an academic subject one studies deeply. In business, it's used to describe "high-performance team characteristics." Buddhist monks use the concept of "discipline" to create a life that is simple and focused.
And Discipline can help us integrate our inner and outward lives.
Discipline as a way to enter into spiritual life: for me, Discipline means living in a more intentional way, giving room in our lives for the important things, and letting go of the unimportant. Discipline can help us achieve inner peace, understanding, insight.
I found this definition of Discipline, which may be useful. "Discipline provides us with rules to live our lives efficiently and effectively. When we have Discipline in our life, we can make small sacrifices in the present for a better life in the future. Discipline helps develop habits, habits make routines, and routines become an integral part of who we are. Another word for it might be "practice."
One theologian in the Quaker tradition wrote a book with the title "Celebration of Discipline – The Path to Spiritual Growth." Among others, he suggests that: The inward disciplines are meditation, prayer, and study. The outward disciplines are simplicity, solitude, and service.
The corporate disciplines that help us as we live in community are worship and celebration.
The last of the "fruits of the spirit," as Paul describes in his letter to the Galatians (5:22-23), is "self-control." (the other ones are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, and gentleness)
As we go through Lent and approach Easter this year, still living with the COVID pandemic, we need Discipline. We are practicing so that we may live our lives just a little longer in patience and forbearance as we look to the time when we can reunite with our loved ones, participate in all the activities we love, and give thanks for all our blessings.
May you experience grace and walk in joy.
The Retreat Team
March 8, 2021