Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Practice & Cultivation

     “… practice refers to the discipline of cultivating a crucial capacity of mind, such as wisdom or concentration. Practices are rehearsals of desired qualities, which eventually become spontaneous, natural ways of being. By contrast, … technique and exercise … indicate … specific methods used in a practice. For example, the specific techniques of meditation and reflection are part of the practice of cultivating wisdom.”
     Walsh R. “Essential spirituality. The 7 central practices to awaken heart and mind.” John Wiley & Sons Inc, NY, 1999.

     "How do we cultivate the wholesome and how do we increasingly incline the mind toward the greater good for ourselves and all beings, and thereby defeat this priming that we have? This deep inclination we have toward fear and aggression, because that’s how we manage threats. The classic is a flight-fright / freeze-appease behavioral repertoire. A way to do that is really look for and cultivate positive experiences, not in a deluded Pollyanna way but rather in a very clear-eyed, tough-minded, self-compassionate way that’s also based on justice. Because if you think about it, if most of the experiences we’re having, or most of the facts in our world - positive facts - are the basis for positive experiences, and facts both in the outer world as well as facts in terms of our own qualities, we’re much better people than we usually credit ourselves with being, moment-to-moment-to-moment.
     So if we’re not seeing clearly, in other words if we’re violating the Buddha’s statement that the fundamental root of suffering is ignorance, is not seeing clearly. If we’re not seeing clearly the positive facts within us, or the positive facts within the world, we’re planting the seeds of suffering right then and there. And we’re also planting the seeds of harming other people because when we don’t feel full inside we naturally feel we have less to offer others. Or if we’re cranky or anxious we’re going to be excessively reactive to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune thrown by other people. Or that we think are thrown by other people. And so for both those reasons it really makes sense, both in terms of moment-to-moment quality of life, as well as becoming more beneficial to other people. It makes sense to look for the positive, and then particularly take 20, 30 seconds to register it. Because it usually takes longer to register a positive experience than a negative one."
Photo: Andre Gallant   http://www.andregallant.com/

No comments:

Post a Comment