Wednesday, January 19, 2011

new year's re-conclusions: the practices

Inquiry is my practice. Looking at the mental concepts I believe in as they arise, one by one, investigating, to find out what's ultimately true for me. Remaining mindful of appearing thoughts and accompanying emotions in my awareness is the goal, if I'm to have one. Vigilant as I can be, I allow the emotions to arise as they do without judgment, knowing that the so-called negative ones are there to loyally remind me that I'm believing my thoughts, stuck in a story that does not serve me well.

Yoga is my practice. I allow my breath. I allow the thoughts. I practice the techniques as I've been taught. I take each limb one step at a time, never rushing. I remain conscious of its power and value.

Vitality is my practice. I love the body that appears. A divine vessel. I nourish it, exercise it, and respect it for its resilience, power, and strength. I cultivate that energy. I care for it as any other friend.

Gratitude is my practice. I give thanks for the blessings that are continuously showered upon me. The ones I recognize, as well as the invisible and as yet undiscovered. I keep my eyes open for Universal favors, expect them, and know them to be. I look for signs of  love in every soul I see. All are kept in mind. All are given thanks for.

Trust is my practice. I trust the wisdom that I'm given from moment to moment to move me and inspire me in any way that is needed. I trust that all is well. That despite any tragic or heartbreaking appearances, there is an Intelligence that's given rise to it all. And that what's seemingly steeped in darkness is but one swing of the pendulum and that light shall be restored by and by.

Self-reliance is my practice. Only joy is my criteria when choosing what action to take. I respect the knowledge, opinions, and experiences of others. I seek counsel when I need it. I take it in; I listen; I consider it with all of my heart. Still, I recognize their wisdom to be their own. Ultimately, the Intelligence moving through me reigns supreme.

Compassion is my practice. I possess an empathy for my human brothers and sisters, simply because I realize that each of us is doing the best we know how in any given moment. I can see the minds of others - as well as my own - when stuck in stories and know that until they're questioned, our stories keep us locked in beliefs and behaviors that we'd let go of if we knew how. I love knowing that there is ultimately no "right" and "wrong." That things simply are what they are. And that we define and give meaning to everything we experience. 

Contemplation is my practice. I find solace in the impermanence of things. Everything I can look at or mentally conceive - everything of this world - will one day cease to be. Kept in mind, this allows me to treasure and celebrate what is here and now, knowing its departure as inevitable - and brings to me the gift of patience for all that passes through that I'd not prefer, for the very same reason.

Service is my practice. I look for ways in which I can serve whatever form of the Divine is before me, the best I can. Whether it be another person, an animal, or even a mental concept of something in time and space. Knowing all to be who and what they are is loving them in the highest - and anything else I do that follows will be enough. They need not be grand gestures - any gesture is holy if done with a pure heart.

Adventurousness is my practice. I appreciate knowing that I need not find a "purpose." That in sitting, standing, and breathing, I am living my full "potential" in any given moment, regardless of any path I choose. And that any chosen path is the right one. Greatness, acts of brilliance, are all composed of tiny now-moments after all. I love that these would be enough. I love knowing that our very existence makes us worthy and lovable - and miraculous. I love knowing that the "me" I like pretending I am doesn't need to - and couldn't anyway - have all the answers. I love recognizing when God/Universe provides me with all I need to know exactly when I need to know it. I dream big but live midst all the small steps taken in the moment, for Life is here and now. I love that my only "purpose" is to have fun along the way.

Inner peace is my practice. It's my top priority and underlies all these practices. I remember this as often as I can. Especially in those moments where I don't quite measure up to my highest ideal. I remind myself that it's for this very reason I call it "practice."


  1. Observing this process has been facinating, and a priviledge. First there was the clearing out (old stuff, thoughts, organizing photos), which generated a certain momentum and now I feel as if I've just read the personal mission statement of your life. May it draw you to itself like a magnet!

    I take a different perspective on the roll of story that is perhaps more Thomas Moore (the 20th century one) than, say, Yoga or Byron Katie. But what's facinating is that the conclusion is basically the same: that we choose our own interpretations, and in doing so life is a satisfying experience.

  2. Thank you, Suzanne, for the kind wish. I'm not familiar with Thomas Moore. How does "story" fit in your life - what does it mean to you?

    Btw, did you get the email I sent you? From my new email address.

  3. loved this so much! I think I'm going to print it out and post it near my desk. you are a tremendously talented writer, jeff. truly.

  4. That is SO touching - and an honor.
    Thanks, Karen!

  5. Hi Jeff,
    Check out the blog, Barque at that's dedicated to Thomas Moore's work and writings if you're interested in learning more about him. It links to online resources, including Moore's recent blog entry with The Huffington Post. Thank you for taking the time to share your practices with readers.

  6. "I realize that each of us is doing the best we know how in any given moment. I can see the minds of others - as well as my own - when stuck in stories and know that until they're questioned, our stories keep us locked in beliefs and behaviors that we'd let go of if we knew how."

    Yes! Love this.

    And the name of your post superbly captures something I've been trying in vain to name--re-conclusions. Thank you for that!

  7. Here from ICLW, and this is really well-written and inspirational. Beautiful.

  8. @Anonymous: Thanks for the link! Just from the header, I have a feeling I'm gonna dig it.

    @Deb: I'm glad it resonated with you too. I thought re-conclusions was a much better word for it. Because they're not new to me, but I took the new year as an opportunity to check back in with myself to see if what has been important to me still is. And for the most part, it all is.

    @jjiraffe: I appreciate that very much. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. No, I didn't get an email, but you know what....I think the email address you have for me is the old one that used to be connected to my blog, so I'll go in there, read your email and give you my main email that I check daily.

    Aspects of my story, even the less flattering, are always of value to me and powerful, because they reveal inner yearnings, apects of the inner landscape that crave attention and expression. If I call them unhelpful stories, I might miss their message. Then they can be mined for what Thomas Moore simply calls "soul". That doesn't mean I want to cling onto them like a life raft, just that it helps me to see my life like the unfolding of some mythical keeps things poetic, give them soul, as he would say.

    We all must choose whatever interpretations make most sense to our selves and psyches. There is no right or wrong in that department. Yours has an eastern philosophical element, whereas mine comes more from the James Hillman/ Depth Psychology school of thought. I think a similarity of our interpretations is in outcome....we ultimately get to choose what our stories mean to us. That empowers one to see past the victim archetype into empowerment.