Are you real-life practicing the thing you want to achieve?
Or have you spent countless hours / weeks / years in preparation only?
This is an important distinction that I don’t often talk about.
Quick example. Take meditation. You probably know by now that I’m a pretty strong advocate for a sitting meditation practice. Not only because it forces us to slow down in a too-busy world, but mostly for the wholly-necessary mental re-training and skill-teaching it provides.
But here’s what often gets missed.
That real life really is the only practice that matters.
You can sit and sit and sit. You can clock hours of Headspace or Calm.com of or listening to Tara Brach. Of course, we can learn a lot on our seats and we need to learn in such settings. This time for theory and exploration is required. But it’s like baseball practice. Your batting average or your number of home runs only counts during the actual game. It doesn’t matter if you’ve perfected your swing to something exquisite in the dress rehearsal. When the fans are watching and the stakes are high, can you implement all of that practice to your desired ends?
The entire point of this work is to improve your life. To be more in touch with what’s really going on, to see things as they are instead of how we’ve skewed them, to really live each moment, in the moment, with full equanimity.
The only end game for such disciplines as meditation or mindfulness training is to take moments in your day to day life to implement the skills you’ve been practicing when it actually counts.
It will most certainly better your experience here.
So, I’ll ask again. Are you practicing the thing you want to achieve… in your real, waking, off the mat life?
More on this and the how-to next week.