The Benefits are the Practice - Commit to Sit
Updated: Feb 10, 2022
We are all familiar with the saying Practice Makes Perfect. No surprise that there is no such thing as “perfect” on our meditation seat or rarely in life for that matter. However, we can agree that we get stronger, more adept, more skilled at what we practice.
If we practice worrying, it is likely to be our “go to” mode when things trouble us. If we practice thinking about all that went wrong yesterday, we will get better at ruminating about things, events and conversations that have ended, but are kept alive in our hearts and minds. That heart/mind story is delivering messages of stress to our bodies. Body and mind are like friends who tell each other pretty much everything! And most of those conversations do not serve us well.
Regular meditation provides our mind with multiple opportunities to relax back into the present moment free from thoughts of past or future. We repeatedly practice locating the place where our lives are unfolding, also passing – never to return exactly in the same way. There is deep relaxation for the mind and nervous system when, for little bits of time, we are fully focused on what is arising simply in a current moment. This pathway from thought to presence becomes familiar through the practice of “beginning again”. It is from this experience, and not simply from an intellectual understanding, that benefits are possible.
Above all, this a “cultivation” practice. Patience and repetition will hopefully fall into the realm of pleasurable pursuit! Not just for an imagined result, but for the joy, curiosity and respite that is available in accessing this foundational state of being on a somewhat regular basis.
So, I encourage you to make a date with yourself for practice each day for several weeks as you give the routine an opportunity to form the path of habit. Allow each day, each practice, to unfold in its unique fashion. And if you can, appreciate this time to nourish and quiet your mind.
If you have grown fond of guided meditation, I encourage a bit of time on your own to explore the mind’s fluctuations and the gentle yet skillful way we can return awareness to the breath, sensations in the body, naturally arising sound OR the flow of these anchors from one to the other in a broader sense of unfolding presence.
Feel free to email questions that may arise on this journey.