Practice for Being Human

How interesting are words that have double meanings, both appropriate at the same time. Such is the case with spiritual practice, which after all is nothing if not “practice” for being human.

woman of the seaBut wait, why do we need to practice what we already are?

Exactly.

The problem arises – and with it, the need for practice – when we forget who and what we already are. When we fall into the endless traps of human doing and false being and forget our human being.

As with any sport or art, “practice makes perfect.” In reality, there is rarely if ever an occasion of actual perfection, that ideal being reserved for the mathematicians in eternal search for “the perfect circle” or “the number for pi.” Likewise, there is not perfection in store for us even if we practice forever; but practicing does bring us closer to what we imagine is our purest essence.

Mediatation is practice for authentic human being, because it allows to fall away all that is not authentic. In the practice space, we are forgiven lapses of attention, stray thoughts, mental preoccupations, insinuations of the pesky ego.

Fine, let’s hear from all those contending stakeholders for our identity, because in a moment, of the next breath, they will be banished, irrelevant to our upcoming, indwelling destiny.

So we arise from the cushion, our time up at last. Was it enough? Are we enlightened, awakened yet?

Not quite. Only a little closer. When the challenges to tranquility arise now as they will, we are more familiar with their claims to our attention. We are more skillful in letting them fall aside.

We are not now, or ever perfect, but we are practiced in letting our simple human being shine forth.  So more and more, as practice hones our recognition and our resilience, that purity will abide… through all the traffic and conflict, the pulls and pushes of our time and care, our dreams and desires. That silent essence will abide.

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