Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time and Practice



I have not written for awhile..... I moved to a new part of town with my partner and opened a studio in my home.  During this time I felt as though I had no time.  Teaching, moving, transitioning my whole attitude towards home and sharing space (this is a whole new experience for me as I have never lived with anyone).  I felt afraid, excited and overwhelmed. Like always I stayed with my discipline around my Asana practice but started to feel as though my Yoga practice had fallen by the way side.  My practice off the mat was suffering. Was it time that I lacked or perspective? 

Here in this short passage I found time.

At one of the Dalai Lama’s talks he was asked, “Why is prayer important for a spiritual life?”
His reply was that prayer (meditation) is, “A simple daily reminder of your deeply held principles and convictions.”
Another listener asked, “For someone who is really busy, how does one find the time to do these kinds of prayers and meditation practices?”
The Dalai Lama said, in essence, you can always make time. But then he went on to add:
…if you think seriously about the true meaning of spiritual practices, it has to do with the development and training of your mental state, attitudes, and psychological and emotional state and well-being. You should not confine your understanding of spiritual practice to terms of some physical activities or verbal activities, like doing recitations of prayers and chanting.
If your understanding of spiritual practice is limited to only these activities, then, of course, you will need a specific time, a separate allotted time to do your practice — because you can’t go around doing your daily chores, like cooking and so on, while reciting mantras. That could be quite annoying to people around you.
However, if you understand spiritual practice in its true sense, then you can use all twenty-four hours of your day for your practice. True spirituality is a mental attitude that you can practice at any time.
For example, if you find yourself in a situation in which you might be tempted to insult someone, then you immediately take precautions and restrain yourself from doing that. Similarly, if you encounter a situation in which you may lose your temper, immediately you are mindful and say, “No, this is not the appropriate way.” That actually is a spiritual practice.
Seen in that light, you will always have time.

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