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Thread: Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

  1. #1
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

    It's the end of finals week, thankfully. It's a week filled with tension and anxiety, and not just for the students. Us professors are burdened with all the grading that's required, and we are a target of a lot of that student tension and anxiety. It's been non-stop for me all week, and I finally hit the wall today, but I was able to do so safely, thanks to my practice.

    I tend to become a steamroller sometimes. I must get all this done, I must, I MUST! And then I start plowing through it to the point where all I can think of is the finish line, the "I must get done" as a sort of finish line dogma. Well, I was able to catch myself today. I realized that the finish line as dogma is a delusion. Yes, it does need to get done, but the reality is I only need to get it done over the next few days, not now necessarily.

    The reason for this post, though, is the ironic escape to this finish line dogma that I think many of us suffer from in various personal versions. By carefully being aware I realized that now is not the finish line. Now is just that, now, the Holy Now, the present. The finish line is that unknown delusional future as demon eating up the potentially wonderful now. The finish line is not a must right now, the finish line is later. But that finish line will totally eat up the Holy Now if I let it.

    And so I took a break after meeting the minimum demands of the day. I sat outside and experienced the spring breeze. I listened to music. I spent some time here at Treeleaf. I found a now free of dogma. I hope you are able to do the same the next time you find yourself facing finish line dogma.

  2. #2

    Re: Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

    I faced that today. It's Friday, I must get it done! But I want to leave. But I must get it done now! You really nailed how I felt today and on a lot of Fridays or mental deadlines that I create for myself.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

    Thanks Jigen this is a great reminder to just let go of obsessing over that pesky mental finish line.
    Our tea group has a big event this upcomming week(which I plan to write about some time ). Sooo many things which, as you say, "must get done!".

    Gassho,
    Hoyu

  4. #4
    disastermouse
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    Re: Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

    I'm sure you've already told me, but can you remind me? What do you teach?

    Chet

  5. #5

    Re: Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

    Thanks Jigen. The first thing I do almost everyday is go outside to find the holy cow in the holy now

  6. #6

    Re: Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    Thanks Jigen. The first thing I do almost everyday is go outside to find the holy cow in the holy now
    Holy Cow! :lol:

  7. #7
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

    Random responses and additional thoughts.

    I teach graduate students in counseling and undergraduates in rehabilitation services, which is how to work with people with disabilities.

    The "holy cow in the holy now" is an awesome line I very much wish I thought of 8) Rich, you are always a fount of wisdom that is much appreciated, as is your consistent support for me here.

    "Must" exists in a continuum, at least in the practical sense. Truly, deadlines do exist, though we often debate their seemingly arbitrary nature. I mean, I must get grades in by Wednesday noon, or else! Which really means they could be done later but with lots of grumbling by me and many above me and paperwork by us all. I know this from an experience when I actually missed that deadline. Oh, the shame :twisted: :evil:

    A great deal of the finish line dogma pressure comes from what I view as compassion for students. Many are dying for news about their grades, especially if they are close to a higher grade. I get flooded with emails and phone calls begging, really, with sob stories galore about how I need to show mercy on their performance for whatever reason. I try to take each individual into account in accordance with their performance, which takes time, but they want answers NOW. I remember this tension and anxiety as a student so I do my best to give them the answer that they need, though it's not always appreciated or understood. If you take their pressure plus my own desire to be done, the result is finish line dogma. But really it's all mine.

    The struggle that prompted this thread is how to find the balance between the needs of those students and myself. As a bodhisattva, I am supposed to focus on them, but if I do that too much then I will crash myself to the point of danger. Earlier this year I literally made myself sick for a week over focusing too much on student needs instead of my own. Yesterday I caught myself before possibly doing the same thing again. I may vow to save all beings, but I can't do that if I don't take care of myself first. I feel fairly quite fellow Treelaeafers have parallel experiences, finish line dogma or not.

    Anyway, after a few naps today and some wise eating, I am feeling well enough to stay up tonight and work on more of that grading that so many so eagerly await. Hi-ho, hi-ho, off to work I go...

  8. #8

    Re: Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    I get flooded with emails and phone calls begging, really, with sob stories galore about how I need to show mercy on their performance for whatever reason.
    Holy cow, these are the same people that owe me money. :lol:

    Thanks for the kind words.

  9. #9

    Re: Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

    Just a "Thank you", Jigen, a much needed reminder for me,
    _()_
    Myoku

  10. #10
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Finish line dogma - and freedom from it

    You are welcome. I am done with one "must get done" list. That finish line has been reached. Now I am on to the next "must get done" list, another finish line looming, hopefully free of dogma. The waves just keep on coming, and all we can do is to surf them to the best of our ability.

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