Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Five steps to sustaining practice

Meditation practices are becoming more and more important to me. I'm putting them into practice even in my dreams. When I found out that a dog for whom I'd advocated was put to sleep, I felt it was necessary to revisit the five steps to sustaining practice, as outlined last night at Awakening Joy by Ange Stephens:
1) Intention: Set an intention daily to live your life as if it matters. This is neither a goal nor affirmation nor is it hope -- it's an expression of deepest longing. It's like having a rudder on a boat. It just orients you. It's a daily vow.
2) Attention: This is the key to the deeper self -- understanding and more presence in life. Feel into your heart and open to the feelings that are here.
3) Pause: Stop doing for a moment. Living a spiritually embedded life takes stopping to create a space where we can touch into our essential self. We need to relax into not doing. Pause briefly many times a day.
4) Live as if you're going to die: We open our hearts. Our priorities become clear. It's usually about love. How easily we forget this life is a gift. Life is fragile, always when we keep death close, we are not so petty. Everyone will die and we do not know when. This is the great work: to walk through life knowing everyone will die. You have this moment with them. We have no idea how long we have.
5) Gratitude: A good way to end and to begin. It's a great blessing to have been here these weeks, to receive these teachings. We belong to each other. Our lives are dependent on the lives around us.
"Clearing", Martha Postlewaite:
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.

No comments: