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Lions Roar : January 2016
GOING TO A RETREAT or program is a wonderful way to deepen our meditation practice. But how do we stay connected with these waking-up practices when we go home to the myriad projects, emails, responsibilities, and distractions waiting for us? This is a question that applies not just to meditation, yoga, and other spiritual practices, but to any creative art we want to commit to, such as painting, writing, ANNE CUSHMAN is the author of Enlight- enment for Idiots and Moving into Meditation: A 12-Week Program for Yoga Practitioners. or playing an instrument. Paradoxically, the practices we know are most vital to our wellbeing are the very things that are usually pushed aside by daily tasks that feel more urgent. You may start each day intending to spend half an hour on your zafu, practice walking meditation in the park, or write three haikus capturing the essence of your insights. But you’re out of yogurt and broccoli, there are 237 unread emails in your inbox, your taxes were due last week, and your child has knocked out a tooth skateboarding or needs you to buy Japanese print fabric for a history project. So you put off meditating or working on your memoir for one more day. And then one more. And then one more. Lately I’ve been offering students a six-step plan that I’ve found effective for establishing and maintaining a home practice of almost anything—even in the middle of a crazily busy life. I’ve used these principles to maintain a yoga and meditation practice for almost 30 years— and also to pursue various long-term artistic projects, such as writing a novel. Here are six steps you can follow to establish a daily practice of almost anything: ILLUSTRATIONSBYTOMIUM HOW TO PRACTICE Six Steps to Establish a Daily Practice —Of Almost Anything Whether it’s meditation, yoga, or your favorite creative activity, you’ll get so much more from doing it every day. Follow these six steps, says ANNE CUSHMAN, to enjoy all the benefits of daily practice. SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2016 31 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE