>> As Bardon attests, the early morning is one of the best times, and especially the most convenient time to practice. Some people seem to have no problems waking up bright and early and being disturbingly cheerful, unfortunately, I don't seem to be one of these people. Without the aid of an alarm clock I slept until 9:30 this morning - hardly early. Getting up a couple of hours earlier is like torture, and the cold shower is almost unthinkable now it's winter. I don't think it's a soul mirror issue, it seems physical. Am I the only one who has this problem? <<
Actually, I'd say that this is a soul mirror issue having specifically to do with will power and the level of your commitment. Initiation is not a matter of taking the easiest way out simply because something important is hard at first. Initiation is about changing yourself and about standing up to the challenges that naturally arise in the pursuit of self-transformation. The complaint of "It's too hard" must be rejected as being insufficient justification, as well as insufficient explanation.
For truly, when you think about it, if you *really* wanted to do your exercises early in the morning, you'd find a way. You would adjust your habits to accommodate an earlier rising. It's as simple as that. It's not something you're *physically* incapable of doing -- it's something you're *emotionally unwilling* to do.
As for the cold shower, this is also not a matter of your being *physically* incapable of doing it. If you do it as Bardon suggested with the brushing and then the brisk toweling off afterward, you do not end up chilled. What prevents you from doing it is again, an *emotional unwillingness*.
One aspect of these early exercises which focus upon physical habits is that they bring the student into a confrontation with this very issue of emotional unwillingness and thereby develop the student's force of will and self-discipline. Ultimately, this issue of breaking through emotional resistance is the very least of the challenges the student will inevitably face along the path of initiation.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
17 Dec 2003