Arriving Home :: The Art of Approaching Practice
"How we approach our meditation practice can be equally as important as the practice itself."
More and more over the years, I have come to know that there is an art to approaching meditation.
The way we think about it, the way in which we even feel about it and how we relate to our practice all contributes to the overall effect meditation has on our lives.
If you come to sit in one of my in-person classes, you will often hear me say, "arriving to our practice is a practice in itself." This is the very topic we will explore in this 'Arriving Home'.
The Art Of Approaching Practice
The same way we receive benefits from meditation like reductions in stress, anxiety and fatigue, our meditation practice also benefits from our approach, our attention and the ways in which we relate to it.
I often think of my meditation practice like a beautiful flower and vegetable garden. The more I care for the garden, giving it the right attention and care, the more the garden will thrive, flourish, bloom and produce.
A word commonly used to describe meditation in Pali Sanskrit, the language used to scribe traditional buddhist texts, is bhavana. Which translates into English as "cultivation" or "development".
Meditation itself is an act of cultivating and developing certain traits and states. When we develop a right attitude towards our practice, we also cultivate ease, depth and more intimacy within our meditation itself.
Qualities To Develop In Our Approach
When we think about arriving to our meditation practice, the following qualities are helpful for a more fruitful meditation.
Think, "not what can I get from my meditation practice today, but what can I give to it?"
Could your meditation practice use a little more discipline, sincerity, focus, or time in your schedule? See if you can give that to your meditation.
Approach with kindness and compassion.
When you approach your meditation practice with kindness and compassion, you can do no wrong! This is particularly helpful if you think you are "not good" at meditation or "not doing it right". The more kind you are towards your practice and all that arises within it, the easier your meditation becomes.
Approach with love.
Fall in love with your meditation practice. That's right! Fall in love. If you love your meditation practice and all that it produces in your life, then you are more likely to keep showing up to it.
May these approaches to practice support both you AND your meditation practice.