On Daily Practice

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The greatest ignorance that I see from day to day in the world bustling about in our country  and I am sure in the world at large is thinking that anything of value can be understood quickly or without much effort. Information is different than knowledge.  In this world where you have more information at your fingertips than any generation in history, there is a sense that daily discipline, daily effort in any area of study is too hard, too boring, to engage for more than a week let alone a lifetime. However, it is the only way to engage a study so large and vast as the body/mind in rest and in motion. Day by day, moment by moment should be a gentle unfolding of  your own life and experience of living. To pay attention is no easy feat! Intelligence viewing intelligence.

If you have gotten to a place where you are tired of being drug around by all of the myriads of distractions, emotions, addictions, and the feeling that life is boring and tedious, then it is time to learn to pay attention. Not just for an hour, not just for a day, week, month or year but for the rest of your life. That is what it means to form a path of study. The simplest way to start on this path is a daily meditation. Pick one and stick with it. Keep it simple. Then try and revisit that practice throughout your day. Remember this is a journey, just because it is hard, uncomfortable, and annoying at first just means that you have only started to engage a different way of being. Also remember that there is no finish line,it is a process of paying attention, of waking up, that you can only engage. Slowly and surely wonder will start to emerge, creeping in from every corner of your existence, from your own breath, your own body/mind/,  your relationships,  your work, and with each passing moment. Is that to say everything will be absolutely enjoyable. No! But it will be filled with wonder.

So to start down a path, first, admit to yourself that you Know nothing, start fresh, as if everything you have done, thought and experienced has led you to this dead end, honor what you have done,reminding yourself all of your experiences brought you here, then set out anew. Admitting that it will take time, effort and a whole lot of Kindness and Patience with yourself and others to begin to look at living life anew. Did you really see that last line? Let me say it again. Admit to yourself that starting a new way of looking at life will take time, effort, and a lot of kindness and patience with yourself and others. So relax, and start walking. A journey of a thousand steps begins with one, it also must continue with another One, then another One…

 

Beau Gustafson

Food Photographer from Denver Colorado, now living and working in Birmingham , Alabama. Food so good you will want to lick the screen.

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