We are exploring “ practice” and what it means to us, how we actually “do” it and what practice might bring to our lives.
Practice applies to anything that we have the intention to act upon, to be active with and to actualize. Practice takes an attitude or an atmosphere or an idea into motion, connecting to others and to ourselves.
Without practice, we might all still be in bed….well, without ever feeling the sun shine on our faces, without hearing a bird sing and without having love or giving it or feeling the ache of loss ( yes, that too…).
Without practice, we live in isolation.
Today I’d like to share a few quotes with you from people who have some strong ideas about practice…and I hope to stir up some questions and some curiosity in you to know more!
“ We practice meditation to connect with maitri* and unconditional openness. By not deliberately blocking anything, by directly touching our thoughts and then letting them go with an attitude of no big deal, we can discover that our fundamental energy is tender, wholesome and fresh. * Maitri: friendliness
from “Start Where You Are.” Pema Chodron
“ When it comes to gratitude, the word that jumped out at me throughout my research process is ‘practice’. For years I subscribed to the notion of an ‘attitude of gratitude’. I’ve since learned that an attitude is an orientation or a way of thinking and that ‘having an attitude’ doesn’t always translate to a behavior. It seems that gratitude without practice may be a little like faith without works- it’s not alive. “
from “ The Gifts of Imperfection”, Brene Brown“
“Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. ‘ I write only when inspiration strikes’ he replied. ‘Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.’
Maugham reckoned…that by performing the mundane physical act of sitting down, starting to work, he set in motion a mysterious but infallible sequence of events that would produce inspiration, as surely as if the [muse] had synchronized her watch with his.”
from “ The War of Art”, Steven Pressfield
So! Over the next few days we will be exploring three areas of practice:
The practice of art or craft, as in singing, writing, playing an instrument, dance, sculpting, visual art, etc.
Spiritual practice, as in meditating, yoga, qigong, tai chi, prayer and so on.
Wellness practice or daily practice in terms of simple routine or ritual that is about your own care, enrichment, growing and well being. We will call it… “self care” and it addresses general wellness, anxiety, depression, our addictions and our habits of pain and suffering!
Exploring what any kind of practice is like in your imagination and what it feels like in your intention and then looking at the actual doing is our inquiry!
Of course we know that all these kinds of practice blend in together and are based on you showing up for yourself…every day!
Susan Lambert, LCSW