Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Seven Deadly Sins--And Starting My Next Program

Monday, June 9, 2008
9 weeks 3days to pics
Work 6p-8a
Slept 10 hours.


As you might have surmised by now, my train of thought is often a runaway, slowing for nothing and following no particular track. Today during my workout was no exception to this flight of ideas. For whatever reason, as I was working out this afternoon, I began to think of the Seven Deadly Sins. As I thought of them, I began to wonder why they were called just that. Why are they called the "Deadly" sins. They are also known as the Cardinal Sins or the Cardinal Vices, but when you ask someone what the Cardinal Sins or Vices are, many don't immediately understand what you mean. If you use "Deadly Sins," though, your intent is clear. But why has that particular word been chosen for these sins? Most of these vices, even when taken to an extreme over time, won't directly kill a person. And, technically, none of these keeps a Christian from entering the pearly gates, as long as they have repented, so "deadly" can't refer to eternal damnation.

I pondered this for a while. I tried to remember as many of the "big seven" as possible in hopes of making sense of it. I turned it over and over in my mind, trying to place it in different perspectives.

I think a lot about things of this nature lately. The last couple of years have been difficult for me spiritually, and I find myself spending a lot of time trying to clear the water that is suddenly muddy after years of crystal clarity. I find that what once provided me with a great sense of security now leads only to questions and uncertainty. Where I once found great comfort in the Bible and Christ's words, I now find comfort in the wisdom of Buddha's teachings and find myself open to learning from multiple sources. Where I once was found, I now feel lost.

But, yet again, I digress...

I started down that track to say that as I began to look at the big seven and the term "deadly" in light of what small amount of Buddhist teachings to which I have been exposed, it began to become more clear. As I have mentioned many times in this blog, there are many worse things than death as we know it, the literal loss of consciousness and breath and a life-sustaining heart rhythm. One of those is robbing yourself of truly living--or being robbed of the opportunity to truly live. Part of Buddha's teachings (as I in my limited knowledge understand them) about how to reach enlightenment include learning to live fully in the present moment, how to avoid distraction, and truly focus on where one is right now, and what one is doing right now. Without that type of focus on the now, we are not truly able to live now. If we're regretting something we did yesterday and dreading what we have to do tomorrow, if we're worried about making sure we're doing this or that to be prepared for that or this, or if we're talking to these people on the phone while we're trying to hurry and eat with our loved ones so we can make it to the game or the movie, we are missing the point. We are missing the moment we are in right now, the only moment we truly have. We are dead to that moment as we live in half a dozen others that ultimately don't matter.

I think that is why these are called the Seven Deadly Sins. They rob us of true life, of truly living. They distract us from what truly matters, what can truly give us happiness, what allows us to truly live. Pride leads us to look at what everyone else has and compare it to ours. If you truly looked at what you have for what it is, with how much of it do you think you would be happy? Don't compare your home or your car or your physique to anyone else's. Would you be happy with them if you could look at them in a vaccuum of sorts? Pride prevents us from living happily with what we have in hopes of getting what someone else has and what perhaps we don't need. Greed leads to a similar set of dissatisfaction as we miss out on enjoying what we have now as we work incessantly toward what we think we want. Envy... See the theme here? Wrath... Anger will eat your soul from the inside out. But that person you're mad at? They most likely aren't even losing a minute's sleep. Lust... Think pride, greed and envy that prevent you from looking at your significant other and staying crazy in love. Gluttony. Sloth. Seeing how all of these things prevent us from fully appreciating--living in--the here and now leads me to believe that this is why they are considered "deadly." Suffering these sins, we become dead to the fullness of our world.

The natural progression of this thought process is to examine my life in light of what is keeping me from living it to the fullest right now. Certainly, I have a different handle on each individual vice. Sloth is the least of my worries. Gluttony is a little more interesting. Though I don't truly have difficulty with gluttony in and of itself, my proccupation with NOT being gluttonous certainly robs me of peace on a regular basis. Lust, well, I'll keep that one to myself.;) Wrath I have improved tremendously; I am much less quick to anger and try to quickly find a way to overcome my anger, resolve the situation. Certainly envy, greed and pride--pride mostly--are my biggest issues. I have a hard time enjoying where I am right this instant as I want desperately to make it to a point in my life where I am fit and thin, retired and relaxing. But I also want to be the best--the best doctor, the best wife, the best daughter, the best friend, the best this and the best that. I want to work harder, work smarter, be better. Better, better, best. This idea often consumes me when I should simply be satisfied with doing what I understand is my personal best regardless of how it compares to others.

So I took a little dose of philosophy with my workout this afternoon. I think I'll try to make the most of what I learned.

16kg Row 30 sec/arm
Rest 30 sec
Push-up x 30 sec--Done wide-leg and on the third and subsequent sets had to drop to knees about 1/2 way through. I still firmly believe my weakness on these is mental.
Plank x 30 sec
Rest 30 sec
16kg Reverse lunge for 30 sec per leg
Rest 30 sec.

Do all of above 5 times.

Then... 12kg Double snatch. 12 sets of 5 reps starting at the top of each minute.

I started each set of these from the ground as opposed to dead lifting them, doing the back swing, then snatching. David made me do that when I went to see him last week, and I found it exceptionally difficult. Therefore, I felt I needed to work on it. Much better today, and I found that if I kept my head up and eyes forward, it made starting this way infinitely easier than if I did it keeping my eyes on the ground as I did last week.

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