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Lions Roar : March 2015
Don’t take too narrow a view of practice Here is a simple equation: practice equals meditation plus post- meditation. The reality is that significantly more of our time is spent in our daily lives than in formal meditation. One could take the view that the meditation practice is the real thing and the rest is just life as usual. But instead of thinking of practice as something you do, which you turn on and off, you could shift to the view that because you are a practitioner, everything you do becomes practice. Be a continual student There is a saying that goes, “If the student is ready, the teacher will come.” I’ve thought about this a lot. Some people feel bad when they hear this. They think there is something wrong with them, that they are obviously not ready, since no teacher has magically appeared on their doorstep. But I take this say- ing to mean that when you maintain the attitude of a student, you begin to see teachers everywhere. The whole phenomenal world begins to be filled with teachings that you simply had not noticed before. Practicalities Schedule meditation sessions weekly When students asked my teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, about their difficulties in keeping up their meditation practice, Trungpa Rinpoche often boiled his advice down to a matter of scheduling. The point is, if you don’t make room for medi- tation in your schedule, it’s just not going to hap- pen. Rather than waiting for when you are in the mood, it is better to decide ahead of time how much meditation you can commit to in a day and how much you can commit to in a week. You can decide what time of day works best for you, and whether there are days you might need to skip and days where you might be able to do a bit more. Each week, take a realistic look at what is on your plate and schedule your meditation accordingly. Time each session When you sit down to meditate, decide in advance how long you plan to do so. Then do the practice and don’t worry about how well or badly it goes. Personally, I like to set a timer on my phone. That way I don’t have to keep track of time, but can focus on the technique. There are great apps, like Insight Timer, that you can program to what- ever length of practice you prefer. A gong rings to start and end a session, and as a bonus, you can see that many other people are meditating at the same time. Choose a regular place to practice If it is practical, it is good to set aside a corner of a room or even just a regular spot where you can do your meditation. You may keep a cushion or chair there that you use especially for this purpose. Such a designated area serves as a physical reminder of your intent to practice. Even when you are not practicing, ORIGAMIBYKIRILKIREZIEV:ETSY.COM/SHOP/KIROGAMISTORE SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2015 54