How am I to practice when tired?

When the mind and body is tired then mindfulness and wisdom tends to wane; unskillful habits, judgments and negativity are then free to plague the mind without restraint.  Therefore, rest for the body and mind is crucial in order to maintain the strength required for mindfulness and wisdom.   A restful body and mind is a condition for knowledge and clarity to arise and for the dispelling of ignorance.  Please rest when tired and replenish the peace the mind craves with stillness and silence.

When tired, know you are tired and understand that your mindfulness and wisdom is not strong.  Exercise patience and endurance to get through the tiredness and refrain from unwholesome thoughts to the best of your ability.  When you know you are tired, do not value what arises in the mind that is plagued by unwholesome habits of thinking.  Watch with patience whatever arises without judgment but with understanding that you are tired.

When you can watch without reacting to the tired mind spinning with negativity then you have mindfulness and wisdom.  There is no need to be alarmed by the negativity but know it to be the result of kamma, previous habits and conditioning.  The kamma is bearing its fruit and will fall away.  When you react to unwholesome thoughts with additional unwholesome thoughts then you are creating additional unwholesome kamma which will bear fruit.  When you don’t react to the fruits of unwholesome kamma but just watch then you will not create additional unwholesome kamma.  The key is to train the mind to watch whatever arises without reacting.  This practice is especially important when you are tired.

Do your best to perform your livelihood without greed or ill will.  Accept that you are doing your best and that your behavior is under the influence of existing defilements.  One can not do better than ones’ best.  The defilements will be diminished in proportion to the growth in strength of mindfulness and concentration.  Mindfulness and concentration grows in strength due to its use or practice; i.e., the more you use mindfulness and concentration the stronger these faculties become.

When the body and mind has adequate rest then there is energy to practice mindfulness and concentration, and wisdom will also manifest.

Please keep in mind that any negativity directed toward others or to oneself is a symptom of the defiled mind or false self.  With awareness of negativity one can then stop perpetuating the negativity by resting the mind in stillness and silence.  The practice of loving-kindness is encouraged for it heals the mind and brings it peace.