What Is Meant by a Practice? And What Are Its Advantages?

Brown-eye-Susans and lilies in a summer garden. What is meant by the practice of gardening? The gardener shows up regularly to keep it looking beautiful.
Gardening can mean planting one flower, or it can be the practice of a lifetime.

A Practice Means Doing Something Repeatedly

Perhaps with the idea of becoming better at it. But the beauty of practice is that there is no pressure to be perfect at it. It is always evolving. It is never done. It is a constant path of refining and improving.

Sounds boring at first. Same old, same old. But look at some practices and judge for yourself.

Gardening is a practice of giving and giving. For those who love it, it is an ongoing pleasure of getting sunshine, exercise, being grounded in the dirt, and watching things grow. The practice itself is nourishing, regardless of the flowers and fruits than come out of it.

Sport is another kind of practice. Like gardening, the practice is an end in and of itself. An excuse to get together, to get exercise, to improve the skills of the game.

Music is another. Meditation is another. There are so many practices. And for those who sink into them, there is a joy in practice. Watching small changes and improvements over time. As opposed to a one-time experience.

And The Same Is True of The Work

The Work can be a one-time experience-possibly helpful or insightful. But this is like weeding a garden only once. Or practicing a musical instrument only once. There is some interest in it. Some novelty in doing The Work just once. But the depth of possible experience is still waiting undiscovered.

I have been practicing The Work about five days a week since 2007, and it continues to deepen. I have not become bored with it yet. Each new situation brings a new twist. And each discovery through inquiry excites me.

That’s why I make it a practice. Because the depth opens up over time. When I do it every day, as a part of my routine, I don’t feel any pressure to “have a big shift.” I am just exploring. Like a gardener just doing the work of gardening. And enjoying the flowers when they come, but not expecting them every day.

I Invite You to Make The Work a Practice in Your Life

And what works best for me with any practice is to make it a part of my routine in life. Maybe it’s once a month, or once a week, or daily. It doesn’t matter the frequency. When I have it in my calendar, I don’t have to think about it. I just do it.

And getting support from others is a big help too. There is something about meeting someone else that keeps me showing up. That’s why I offer so many ongoing practice groups for doing The Work. We all support each other to support ourselves.

Start the next phase of your practice by taking my online course called The Work 101, and then joining my ongoing practice group called Inquiry Circle.

Have a great week,
Todd

“After doing The Work, many people report an immediate sense of release and freedom from thoughts that were making them miserable. But if The Work depended on a momentary experience, it would be far less useful than it is. The Work is an ongoing and deepening process of self-realization, not a quick fix. ‘It’s more than a technique,’ Katie says. ‘It brings to life, from deep within us, an innate aspect of our being.’ Byron Katie, Loving What Is

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