Monday, January 5, 2009

Waves of Practice

Recently I've had the same conversation with several students. "My practice has really fallen away, I got distracted by other things, but I want to get back to it in January." There's perhaps a slight trace of guilt in their voices, a sense that they should be practicing regularly or else all is lost. But I have found, in my own experience, that there is a natural cycle of increasing/decreasing regularity in practice. As one student pointed out: "That's how Nature works." How could we be any different? We are not linear creatures. It is natural for commitment to wax and wane, as natural as the cycles of the moon.

For me, the amplitude of the wave has decreased over time. The fluctuations have become smaller. Roughly 10 years into my engagement with spiritual practice, I am just now getting to the point where I practice (more or less) every day. But still, the length of practice and the intensity varies from day to day.

So if January finds you on an upward swing of practice, ride it out as long as you can. Notice when resistance or distraction arises, as it inevitably does. By all means, intend to practice consistently. But if you do find yourself slowing down, priorities shifting, don't waste energy chastising yourself. It's only Nature. Trust that a new cycle will begin again, when the time is right.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you creating this blog, with such a thoughtful intention! After taking one of your classes as EAC, I found your blog through your website.

    I'm so excited to have found more resources to help me broaden a Kripalu practice. This reminds me why I began practicing in the first place. Thank you again!