What I mean by ‘Practice’

May 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

I talk about practice here – I practice yoga (and writing, and meditation, and knitting and…), and so a lot of what I share here has to do with my own form of practice. But I also want to talk about practice in general – to leave it open ended. Any discipline, art, or spiritual practice that we throw our hearts into has the capacity to bring us closer to ourselves (and THIS, this is what I mean by Practice: Any act we engage in over time that brings us closer to the truth of ourselves). I often find myself reading about forms of practice other than my own and nod with recognition at the intent, the dedication, and the love. I’d love this space to be a discussion with all sorts of passionate practitioners who are learning about themselves through their work. I do talk about yoga specifically sometimes, of course – for me it is a particularly good framework. But you are most welcome here, even if that’s not your thing. Maybe there will be something that makes sense to you even if the structure itself is different.

Here’s what I want to share on practice this week, Martha Graham’s wonderful essay for This I Believe (click through for the full text):

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing, or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated, precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which come shape of achievement, the sense of one’s being, the satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God. Practice means to perform over and over again, in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”

May I invite the perfection of a more open heart.

§ 2 Responses to What I mean by ‘Practice’

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