I have been dragging my feet on moving ahead with the DP for a while now. I've been writing my essays on the high days and our celebrations of them at Cedarlight Grove, and I've done two of the three required book reports, but I have not been diligent on anything else about it.
There are number of reasons for this, and its easy enough (and true enough) to claim busyness, but that's only part of it. The main reason is that I'm afraid of the mental discipline requirement.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who has tackled this program that has found five months of regular meditation practice to be intimidating. If I were a betting man, I would bet that it's the number one reason people start the DP and don't finish it. At the same time, I can't argue that it shouldn't be there because I understand why it matters.
So I am taking a new run at it, starting today. I'm planning to try at first for just five minutes of complete breathing (inhale for a count of 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4) and general quieting of mind. When I can do that, I'll starting working on the Two Powers using my recording of Ian Corrigan's narration, and assuming I become comfortable with that, I'll seek more techniques.
Meanwhile, I will work on the essays that aren't tied to events – attending a rite or reading a book – and try to have them complete over that five months as well. My hope is that after five months of regular mental discipline I will have gained enough experience to find it valuable and continue, which is obviously part of the point of the requirement.