I think the easy part with much of this is starting. There’s always a workshop, an event, or a book to read. The beginning is exciting. New possibilities, discoveries, and something to learn! But after the workshop ends or we finish the last page of the book, what do we do next? I think that’s where I tend to have the most difficulty.
At that point is where the work begins. Getting the deep benefits of most practices means taking the time to work through multiple layers and get down to the root. Like Shrek said, “Ogres are like onions…[they] have layers.” It’s sad how often I find this quote applies in life. But anyway…in the past, I have probably been the biggest flake when it comes to my own meditation practice.
The first time I meditated was in college during coursework on Buddhism. It was part of the curriculum and we all went to a Buddhist temple, sat along aside monks, and wafted in overwhelming amounts of Nag Champa. It was pretty great. I felt like I was a part of something and learning about myself. I.E. The college experience.
After that class, meditation probably left my life for 5 years. It was always an interest but not one that pulled me to action.
Then it would pop back up. I tried Headspace and that got me going for a while. After that it would drift away and only come back at the end of a Yoga practice. Then it started to come back stronger and stronger.
I’ll go through spurts when every day after work I sit. After about a week like this I can start to feel the difference. The stillness and ability to choose how my mind works starts to flow into other parts of my life. That’s the best feeling, right? You start to see the results.
Then I pause again…
Keeping a cadence with the practice is hard even though I know what the benefits feel like. I still struggle. It’s not even that I get frustrated I just allow life to get in the way.
So to stop this, I started to add it to my calendar. Seems ridiculous, but if I don’t schedule it, I don’t do it. Sadly, my calendar is still my master. It’s a constant reminder that I have something to do today after work. Should something else come up, then I have to reschedule it.
2018 –> The time when we schedule our spiritual practice.
What do you do to maintain your own practice, whatever it is?