Hello all and warm wishes from the Membership team!
This week’s blog has been a hard one to write. I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired at the start of the process but I am glad that I did it. It is good practice to sit down and write now and then.
My last lot of online ramblings touched on the lessons and inspiration for creativity. Today the creative taps are turned off!
Feeling a little unsure of this week’s blog post I reflect on recent times. The phrase “Support” is a well-known one in our Mindfulness teachings and practise. We use breath or sound as our support, bringing us back… settling, grounding, resting.
But what if our practice has fell by the wayside?
How do we know this has happened?
What supports us then?
How do we support ourselves?
My practices have become much less frequent and fragmented over recent weeks. This got me thinking about support and how else can we or do we support ourselves and others…..
What supports us and helps us recognise that our practice has fallen by the wayside?
In my last blog post, I mentioned the phrase ‘a felt sense’ that I have really taken to heart. Well, the word of the week in this post is ‘practice’.
“Taking practice like a hobby” was something I read recently in a book called ‘Journey from Head to Heart’ by Ringu Tulu Rinpoche. I think this phrase summarises the chapter beautifully.
‘Diligence is not pushing yourself hard, but motivating yourself in such a way that you become joyful in doing positive things’
What a great phrase! That is going on my inspirations and quotes list – I may even get a t-shirt printed!
It can be in difficult moments that I suddenly recognise that my Mindfulness practice has been lacking. I haven’t allowed myself the time to be.
In fact, taking this idea back a step – this happens with other practices, not just Mindfulness.
It happens with the practices of life!
My practice of allowing myself to eat healthily
My practice of exercise
My practice of learning
My practice of teaching
My practice of experiencing the great outdoors
My practice of creativity
My practice of cultivating compassion
I read those phrases back to myself – do they sound a bit self-absorbed – me, me, me. But if we come back to the phrase ‘Diligence is not pushing yourself hard, but motivating yourself in such a way that you become joyful in doing positive things‘ then becoming joyful in doing positive things with good intention and attitude is for the benefit of us all.
So back to my original thoughts and questions – how do we support ourselves when we recognise that we have not allowed ourselves to practice doing positive things?
It occurred to me that life offers us this support. Life gives us little signs of support and wisdom that are constantly offered up to us and yet so often ignored.
Keep a look out for the moment when you knock the coffee cup over, the bird song catches you in the undercurrent, the traffic lights go red, the tourist walking at tortoise pace slows you down.
Life’s supports can be little snapshot moments but they can also be constantly there the breath, the sound, the ground…
I was driving one very early morning and the moon was out and looking fantastic! Sometimes it disappeared, then I would turn a corner and it would re-appear, it glided and moved through the sky appearing and reappearing throughout my journey. Even when I couldn’t see it, I knew it was there offering up some support.
So, when the moon follows you, just remember it is probably a little bit of support from life……slow down and keep practising!
For this week’s challenge allow yourself some life practice time. It is pretty joyful to practice doing positive things!
Until next time
All the best
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche., 2014. Journey from Head to Heart. Bodhicharya Publications.