I view my practice as any period of time that I can engage. It can be a moment of time spent meditating, reading sutras, listening to podcasts, or the general practice of wisdom and compassion. Not necessarily a moment of bliss or quiescence, my practice is a constant face-to-face confrontation with my self (my own blazing self-importance) ~ a sparring match with an adversary highly skilled and deeply entrenched. Punches are landed through moments not spent thinking about outside forces but looking deeply within. Compassion for others can only be generated with compassion for my own plight. The task requires time spent at a difficult place, one that we spend years, if not lifetimes, building barricades against intrusion. Radical trust leads to the dismantling of those barricades and honesty leads to liberation.
By engaging with a personal practice, the mundane and boring aspects of life, the moments that grind our day to a halt, begin to have more significance. A boring meeting is an opportunity to practice and cultivate compassion, an evening commute homeward is an exercise in patience, doing the dishes becomes a moment for mindfulness. When approached as practice, our life becomes a pool of Dharma that we dive deeply into rather than just skimming the surface. It moves out of the practice center and into the kitchen and living room. It moves out of religion and into life.
This is a moment of practice that can occur for 10, 15 or 30 minutes in a day. No need for long hours, just intensive minutes of honesty and deep moments of compassion. We stumble towards liberation and freedom by fortifying our practice one dirty dish at a time…one kiss at a time…one miss at a time.
We stagger, punch-drunk and bruised but happy and accomplished, towards realization.