Saturday, January 16, 2010

What am I practicing?

"Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. " -- Mary Kay Ash

Recently I made a set of intention artworks including one that states "Practice daily." I like that and believe we do need to practice daily the things that are important to us, the activities that will deepen our understanding and capabilities.

But today, that phrase took a different turn as Patti Digh and David Robinson were talking about principles on the "Choice Points" teleseminar which is part of their Circle Project. David twisted the thought to "We are practicing daily." Every day we practice something ... the only question is whether we're practicing what we want to deepen or practicing what we'd prefer to eliminate. I'm trying to learn how to play the hammered dulcimer ... but right now, I'd like to watch "Grey's Anatomy" ... so I can either practice music or practice watching television. Sounds kind of silly when put that way. If I want to be more compassionate but get irritated by slow service in the coffee shop, I'm practicing being self-centered and judgmental. Whatever we practice will become stronger.

I've sometimes wondered why change is so hard but now I think it's because I spend too much time practicing NOT changing. Funny that it should be so simple.

So, my question for today, for this moment, is what am I practicing?

And, as I was thinking about practice, I came across this simple practice from the Dalai Lama:

The Practice (as offered by the Dalai Lama, October 18, 1999):

1. Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same thing (to be happy and loved) and we are all connected.
2. Spend 5 minutes cherishing yourself and others. Let go of the judgments. Breathe in cherishing you and breathe out cherishing others. If the faces of people you are having difficulty with appear, cherish them as well.
3. During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet - we are all the same and I cherish myself and you. (Do it with the grocery store clerk, the client, your family, coworkers etc.)
4. Stay in the practice, no matter what happens.

About the image: This is actually a rail fence with extreme photoshop.


  1. Pretty cool image. When you look at it a certain way, it offers a depth perspective.

    I like the simplicity of the Dalai Lama's "The Practice".

    I think this would make a great post for the S&P e-course. It speaks to many of the points offered over the last few days.

    I think you've opened a door with your insight about practicing not changing; keep going through it.

    P.S. Thank you for commenting on "What the Pictures Tell Us".

  2. Oh, Joyce, this is SO EXACTLY where I am today -- taking a look at what I have unknowingly been practicing daily. Thank you for this.

  3. There is a saying in The Passion Test -- What I put my attention on grows stronger in my life.

    It's a question I ask a lot at the shelter when I teach. what do you want more of in your life? Once clients identify those 'things' -- and money is never high on the list, they are always the 'soft skills', like Love and Honesty, respect, balance, security -- I ask them, is what you are doing going to get you more, or less of what you want?

    The simple elegance of your message is beautiful.

    Thank you my friend!