Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I am what I practice.

Someone once said to me, “Spiritual practice is the teacher; everything is spiritual practice.”

Some have said “you are what you eat” and “you are what you think.” But perhaps greatest of all understanding is to know this…you are what you practice.

I am what I practice.

Over the past two weeks my devotion to practice has deepened (does this suggest anguish is a poignant stimulus toward growth?). I have enlarged my practice of writing (here and even far more what never sees the blog)…my practice of meditation…my practice of study…

I am what I practice.

I walked the labyrinth on Friday night and again more deeply on Saturday noon. I now include a small labyrinth in my daily meditations. Today during labyrinth practice I recognized how in our progress toward a center we have an incredible winding path, sometimes a path that appears to be in opposition to the direction of our goal. Every day, I come to greater understanding of life through labyrinth practice. (I will post fuller expressions later, as daily labyrinth notes are in another writing not with me now).

I am the labyrinth.

I have a mandala meditation practice. Each morning when I awaken I use colored art pencils and color the day’s prepared mandala using whatever colors feel right for the morning. The series of mandalas follow the 12 stages of the Great Round of the Phyche, with several mandalas included in each stage. After coloring, I write and express what the chosen colors represent to my life and write my feelings and thoughts through today’s meditation. From there I read and evaluate the instructor’s view on what colors represent based on universal psychological responses and based on Western cultural color representation. This lends insight into what is on the inside. Today’s mandala was many layered, intricate, rich and deep, and too much to complete in one session (or even two). I will need to continue this mandala for several days, and I am still in Stage 1, the Void. Today’s mandala lesson reinforced our need to stay with something for a while, the truth of our spending more time in the phase or stage we experience. I practice mandalas.

I am a mandala.

I have a dance meditation practice.

In addition to my studies, what else do I practice? Do I practice lovingkindness (which I am told begins with me)? Do I practice peace? Do I practice honesty? Do I practice compassion? Do I practice humility? Do I practice strength? Do I practice listening? Do I practice silence?

I am what I practice…

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