In the last couple of weeks, I have been reflecting on the meaning of “practice” and the sweet spot where we find a posture or a prayer or a process of inquiry that really supports the growth of our soul – that both challenges and comforts us.
Before we explore the nuances of what works for us, why, and when, it may be important to define what we mean by “practice.” In its simplest form, practice is repetition. The ancient yogis would say that before awakening, a man is a bundle of habits, and after – a spark of the divine, capable of choice, compassion, and transformation.
All of us, whether we realize it or not, are practitioners. Whether we are routinely eating breakfast, day dreaming in traffic, or carrying out a task at work, not only are we practitioners, but we are priests and priestesses, steeped in rituals that bridge time and timelessness. In this sacred space, the songs we frequently listen to, the dialogue we engage in with an author whose book we are reading, or the strategy we test in a relationship are all practices – ways of meeting the world by which we clarify, express, and question self, other, and union.
I wonder, here, what a community of conscious practitioners looks and feels like. I wonder about the existential and paradoxical ground upon which Practice with a capital p is founded. I wonder about the openness and skillful means needed for such alchemy.
And I wonder about creating space for the deepest desire to manifest.
From this perspective, practice is like a beautiful mandala – painstakingly arranged, offered with devotion, and released upon ripening – into the heart center where emptiness is form and form is emptiness….
Its in this awareness that we become receptive to the stream of guidance that is always within us. Sometimes, it is a ripple, and at other times, a roar, but it is marked by trust, presence, and wisdom. It may not always cater to our expectations, but if we can make contact with its goodness and certitude, we feel our feet firmly planted upon a path of fire and light.