The Practice

This weekend, I attended a meditation workshop.  There were about eight attendees.  We all sat in a circle on pillows, criss-cross applesauce.  It was very much like kindergarten.  A soothing lady sat at the head of the circle and spoke very softly to us.  We tried to close our eyes and calm our minds.

When one meditates, it is referred to as “practicing.”  I find that word “practice” interesting.  For those of us who write songs, play instruments, sing, etc., practice has an end.  That is, we practice to achieve something.  Which I suppose is mastering the skill.  We practice to “play” the song or “play” our instrument.

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But “playing” seems tied to achievement or the end-game/outcome.  And if we cannot achieve this, we deem ourselves failures.  Or at least I do.

Perhaps we should abandon this idea of achievement and just “practice” instead?

I guess this is another way of saying “it’s not the destination but the journey.”  

When you venture out of your comfort zone to somewhere new, there is always a bit of discomfort.  But you still go.  And when you return, you don’t consider the end so much.  You remember the conversations you had.  The people you saw.  The places you visited.  

The journey is the practice.

So when you pick-up your guitar, sing a scale, pluck a banjo..try not to consider achievement. Try to consider that you do not really want to get to the end.  Because that’s like the end to something wonderful.

Instead, maybe we should all just practice.  But practice in such a way that is forgiving and mindful of the need that our practice fulfills.  We should never want to stop practicing. Because if we do, wouldn’t that mean the end of our journey?  

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