This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.
There is another aspect of philosophical practice that lies on the opposite end of the scale.
That is, a specific, repetitive, intentful, activity or exercise to cultivate a certain aspect of our being or to grow a certain skill in being.
Knowing that there is a world out there*, a space out there, a way of being out there, wherein we are peaceful and calm and connected and grounded and free is nice, and it’s just something we know. A knowing that unfortunately makes little difference.
It is the walk to get there that is the thing. It is the walk that brings us to that place we know about.
Practices are our guides on that walk.
Practice being present. When you notice you are not present, bring yourself back to present.
Have three conversations that clear up something unsaid.
Look around the room and note the meaning you have attached to every object within.
When you are in the throws of an identity attack, take a pad of paper and start writing.
There are a multitude of practices to take on. There are a multitude of sources and teachers and texts and ways to learn, hear, and be assigned these practices. There are many avenues to visit and travel and explore. Coming from and engaging in and visiting and travelling in all of those directions often is what makes the biggest difference. For practices build upon each other. They each open something new. Through each we discover something new. And like my martial arts practice(s), what we develop during the practice follows elsewhere and shows up everywhere. Bit by bit, the transformations occur.
And best of all, we can revisit these practices at any time and deepen our development, transform things even more, and it is always as exciting and revealing as it was the first time.
There’s no special preparation needed. No finality. Just games to play.
Pick a practice. Practice it.
And the self-cultivation begins and continues anew. **
* – Even if we only have a vague notion that perhaps something else is possible, for at least we’ve seen it in others…
** – It is one of the things that makes the book The Art of Possibility so good, in that each chapter encompasses and distinguishes a practice. Something to take on. Something new to try.