Personal practice allows several things: it allows you to focus and develop listening by reducing the noise of our body and mind. Thus, we can reach different listening levels based on our commitment with the Practice.
One of the first manifestation of daily training is avoiding hurting our bodies with bad positions throughout the day. Through exercises that lead us to regain our natural alignment, we can no longer accept to take positions that are contrary to our structure. Being more aware, it is easier to feel the inconvenience and remedy it in order not to suffer the pain that is the result of adverse positions retained over a long period. This is a first level of achievement.
A little further in practice, we can familiarize ourselves with the internal changes that precede diseases and thus we can avoid them. In this state of listening, we can know when we are vulnerable to climatic conditions, but also because of fatigue. Too often, fatigue is fought (or denied) and hunted instead of being listened to. Thus in exhaustion, we are led to tap into our energy assets to function in life. Through an accurate and educated body listening, we know better when it is necessary to rest. This is the second level of listening.
If the practice becomes important in one’s life, we can feel more finely our emotional functioning, during internal changes, for example. Before an emotion is perceived as such, there are a myriad of subtle changes in the body that can be “heard” in a relaxed listening. In this sensing of the changes we can live, without being a victim of them, all the emotions of life. This is the third level of internal listening.
The discovery of this state of silence is impressive: we realize that we are not who we think we are. We are not this body / mind conditioned by our genetic heritage and our education, we are something else. What we are, our practice will present it to us through years of training.
It is difficult to practice, this is partly due to our deficiency of attention. We only manage to focus a little bit of time and not very often in the day. We prefer to operate in automatic mode, connected to our habits acquired during our formal or informal education. These automatism will immerse ourselves in the same joys and the same despair, whatever the circumstances. So we will not be really happy or sad, but we will only automatically respond appropriately. Often, after a few months of practice, our desires change and our appreciation of the world evolves. We leave the well-behaved “robot” mode which responds correctly to become a full-fledged human being. Things that mess us up are often linked to our past and our future projections, the reactions of our parents or our social environment, but our reactions are rarely ours. “The Awakening”, a return to a natural state which is our true nature, allows us to focus on reality and not function on what we imagine is life.
Not only we are not what we believe, but also what we believe to perceive maybe is not real either. Our perception is almost always parasitized by our compulsive thoughts that feed on our ability to not be present. Through practice, we can learn to focus to be present to the reality of our perceptions. After discovering who we are not, we discover what is not: the world through our ego-filtered thoughts.
Another reason that separates us from the reality lies in the belief in our limitations. These are of all kinds and we impose them on ourselves. Whether one believes he is too old, too stupid or too weak, the practice will confront us with the reality that we do not have limits and the individual spirit that resides in us does not like this at all. Our ego, fierce guardian of our difference and our individuality can only survive with well-defined limits of what we are. The loss of these limits is a death sentence for it. With exercises that constitute the beginning of our practice, we will realize how we can do anything and that we are stronger than we thought. We have a capacity to embrace the infinite, free and light in the silence of our spontaneous state … but we prefer to cower in a sickly rehashing of our past troubles and in the anxieties of our future. That’s a good reason to start practicing if we neededed one!
In our way, we will overcome these limitations and meet ourselves. In the perception of who we are and the reality of the world we’ll go back to ourselves in the merger with the changes of the world.
Pain, intellectual questions and emotions will be the weapons of the ego to take away the taste of “Totality”. He will manage to make us doubt to lure us away from a practice that destroys him. We will resent the teacher and the world of working in such a conditioned manner. But the practice is within our reach, always ready to help us in our exploration efforts.
The practice requires only a simple action: “do.” She also asked not to “think” or “believe”, just “do.” That is why a teacher is required. It is to bring the educational dose of confusion necessary to prevent the student from streamlining the way. In this blur, this lack of references, he must rely on his experience to get into the Way as we dive in a precipice. In this encounter with oneself, the Professor serves as matchmaker. The real work is ours, not his.
Making the practice the most important thing in one’s life is not a requirement, as it is easy to live one’s life without opening one’s eyes to the world. Life is easier without practice, we ask ourselves fewer questions. Moreover, it is more comfortable in order to blend in a daily routine without relief, without flavor.
But do we have a choice?