I am one who very much relates to the term “practice.”
All of life as practice. All as attention, sometimes very nuanced.
All as imperfect, yet lovely.
Whether the art and history of serving a cup of tea or the practice I’m currently in to make a delicious pot of soup.
Whether learning to be conscious with self or to be convening a community.
Gunilla Norris, my favorite writer of the week, offers this wisdom on Practice from her book, Inviting Silence.
Walking, eating a meal, dancing, breathing, chanting —
anything can be a practice so long as we are mindful,
so long as we are fully present.
There are many ways, many traditions.
To bring silence into our bodies and minds,
we must learn to be quiet. We being by being still.
If a period of physical stillness is all we can muster,
that is enough. We have begun to practice.
If we can simply learn to follow our breath
in a steady way — attending to the inhalation
and the exhalation until we feel that we are no longer
breathing, but are being breathed
— we have grown in practice.
The point of practice is not to perform,
but to participate — not to achieve specific experiences,
but to develop a new relationship with experience itself.
Like tea, and soup.