Posted inHenry's Messages

Message from Henry: Notes on Practice

June 1, 2016

Oddly, letting go allows our focus to get steadier and clearer. A tight grip often makes it wander, and become indistinct.

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It’s natural that at times our faith in practice will waver. The important thing is not how strong and steady our faith in it is, but that we don’t allow ourselves to get derailed by fluctuations in it.

An old writing teacher once told me not to get “tossed away” by doubt when the writing was hard. If writers had given up on their projects whenever they doubted them, probably few books would have got past the first few chapters. It’s the same with the “project” of practice and training. We carry on regardless. That in itself becomes a big part of its gift.

And in a way, what else can we do? Practice is no different than the rocks, mountains and rivers. There they are, and our shifts in attitude toward them make no difference. There they still are, whatever we think or feel. Practice is the same. It is as real and inviolate as the mountains. It’s no different than the mountains.

*****

Oddly, letting go allows our focus to get steadier and clearer. A tight grip often makes it wander, and become indistinct.

*****

Sure, at times practice can lead to our being entirely free of our ordinary human woes. Other times, it won’t. But even then it can lead to our having a new and different attitude to human woes: that they are formations that bloom and dissipate, like clouds gathering, changing shape, and disappearing in a calm and spacious sky.

Message from Henry is taken from our June 1, 2016 Newsletter.

Image: Lightroom Preset Balloon Released, Lenny K Photography, CC by 2.0, from Flickr. com.

 

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