To bring a large pot of water to the boil takes time, it is a relatively long but straight forward process. Once it has reached boiling point though, it retains its temperature for a long time after it is taken off the stove and requires much less effort or heat to bring it to boil again.
In just the same way you can become aware of and take full advantage of this principle in your own personal endeavors. Whatever discipline or practice you apply this to, you can clearly see that it operates unfailingly. In relation to exercise and keeping fit for example; if you go through an intense period of exercise like a boot camp, you reach a level of fitness that is way beyond what it was previous to the regime that got you there. However after this intense period is over, maintaining this new level or staying close to boiling point, is comparably easy.
On the one hand it now requires much less “heat” than the original, intense regime that actually caused the “pot to boil” but on the other hand, the new level’s “maintenance mode” is now also greater than what it was before. The difference lies in the way it is experienced, with much greater ease. The temperature so to speak, has been raised by a notch but the energy and effort required to do this is the same or less than what it was before.
There is no limit to how this principle can be applied and it is worth knowing that it works just as reliably in matters of the most important, those concerning awareness and spiritual awakening. When you arrive at new levels of understanding and provided that you know what to practice and how to practice, then all you have to do is, well, practice. In the early stages of one’s path the practice, whether it is apparent or not, is actually to deepen the level of faith because there is still some time lag between effort expounded and the harvesting of its benefits, but from a certain point it becomes a self-perpetuating, upward spiral of joy as the rewards are instantly recognised and experienced.
Thus a new and good habit is born, for when an act becomes easy through constant repetition it becomes a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure to perform it is man’s nature to perform it often. When I perform it often it becomes a habit and I become its slave and since it is a good habit this is my will.