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23 September 2009

Soul Practice

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. ~ Chinese proverb

So, as a spiritual being on a human journey, I am always renewing my soul. Sometimes it's a massage, time at the beach, a long walk in the mountains, a big long hug; or sometimes it's about more about a small change to a regular routine. I was vegetarian for 14 years. That small change to my diet lasted a while. It was good and it really opened my eyes to a lot of things I hadn't known about before. I added long jogs to my daily routines, a small hour in a long day but well worth the mental cleanse it gives me. I stopped wearing makeup years ago. A small change to my appearance but a vanity that I did not want to focus on anymore. Because of a lack of adequate funding and an insane urge for a good deal, I started shopping at second hand clothing stores. A small change to my wardrobe but a thrill each time I find cool clothes for dirt cheap. I started eating local and organic, buying less packaging, focusing more on friends and family, smiling at strangers, and on and on. These small changes happened one by one and over time. That must be why our elders are so wise. They have had many years to practice.

As is part of my nature, I am going to begin intentionally walking a new yet well worn path of soul practice. It consists of precepts (teachings, instructions) of which I will pick one per week that I will mindfully meditate and place my focus on. Some of these precepts will be those of Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced Tik · N'yat · Hawn) who is a Buddhist monk living in exile in France. He's only exiled from Vietnam because he tried to teach the people of his country about peace but apparently that was labeled as a communistic activity so he had to leave. I like his teachings and have come across quotations from him so often that I have decided it is a sign. A sign for me to acknowledge that I need to expand upon the inner depths of my soul and help quiet my mind. I was never one for sitting in a classroom. I learn hands on and at my own pace. I will be my own teacher but let the words of the wise ones and the spirits guide me.

And in the very own words of Thich Nhat Hanh I conclude with this: "Do not believe that I feel that I follow each and every of these precepts perfectly. I know I fail in many ways. None of us can fully fulfill any of these. However, I must work toward a goal. These are my goal. No words can replace practice, only practice can make the words."


  1. Wow! Sounds very intriguing! I just started doing Yoga and I LOVE it. While I was doing Yoga I was sitting around thinking about how wonderful it would be if we lived closer by each other once again. That way we could do these things TOGETHER... like we once did... way back when. We used to work out together, get up and ride the train together at 5:00 a.m., laugh, commiserate, drink red rose... all of our new found thoughts and inspirations were performed together. It didn't matter whose idea it was we both played a part and participated in eachother's dream of the moment. Some stuck, some evolved (we now drink good red wine) and some went by the wayside but regardless we had someone by our side each step of the journey. Will you move close to me ever again so we can continue this journey together?

  2. I will come along too!!!!!!!!