Self-improvement is something many of us aspire towards, to achieve this we practice all sorts of things. We train our minds with meditation and brain training apps. We calm our nerves to achieve inner peace with Tai Chi, calligraphy or Yoga. For our bodies, we run to places we don’t need to go and lift things that don’t need to move.
What’s all this training for? We are only here for a limited time and everything changes. If we are practising for something it must be for life.
We aim to be stronger in the moment, be more calm in presence and have greater awareness in day-to-day life.
Could there be a time when it’s time to stop practising and start doing?
With all this excited focus on self-development, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of postponing our happiness, fulfilment, and excellence to some distant future. We often find ourselves trapped in the cycle of waiting for the perfect conditions, the ideal circumstances, or the right moment to pursue our dreams and aspirations. But could this constant deferral of our perfection be a missed opportunity to truly live or to reach our full potential? A dedication to self-improvement can even become so addictive that we neglect normal things.
Could the greatest opportunity for our own evolution be not in training situations of our own making but in the actual tests life places before us?
It might be that we are holding back and are in fact more capable than we are currently allowing ourselves to be. You see one of the cunning ways we make excuses to ourselves that allow us to give in and make poor decisions is to put off our real goal until the future. The diet starts tomorrow, I will give this up later, One more time, I need to use this up, I need to do this for someone else or because of this situation.
If you keep doing this are you ever going to live your authentic life? Are you ever going to be your genuine empowered self?
A problem with practice? For some reason, the sense of “practising” can allow them to hold back. It’s a way of not embracing full dedication in the moment but hiding in a sense of acceptance of a level of functioning beneath their real ability. Other people develop great ability in meditation or in one of the kindred arts, but none of this awareness of focus seems to transfer into day-to-day life.
To eliminate this problem is to start undertaking “The practice of no practice”.
Just picture it … You are going to cultivate a state of mind whereby you apply your full calm, skilful awareness to everything you do.
It’s a fun play on words and an important reminder, to apply your full awareness, skillfulness and ability to all things. In Zen teachings to achieve this students are asked to treat all things as Meditation. This may be the approach for you or perhaps you can think of certain skill sets that bring out your full potential you can be inspired by.
Replace the phrase that put things off with sentences like “If not now when?” and “Every moment is a chance to act in an Enlightened way” or “There is only now”
Embrace imperfection in the situation as part of the challenge and recognize the inherent completeness of each passing moment. The pursuit of perfection is an illusion, a mirage that keeps us perpetually dissatisfied and disconnected from the richness of our immediate experience. Instead, reminds us to find beauty, contentment, and fulfilment right here, right now.
It’s important if you are going to undertake this “No Practice, Practice” that you keep your focus on doing everything with thoughtful awareness.
There are no trivialities. Embrace everything as a chance to improve and always aim to bring the best outcomes. You will find hidden in small things a fantastic chance to bring inner change. Learning to tidy up behind yourself may guide you to inner purity. Planning an email in your head before you write it might just teach you how to hold your temper.
In this practice, we open-minded and continually seek better ways to do things but let go of attachment to techniques, methods, and concepts, and instead, directly experience the reality of the present moment.
The essence of this practice is to seek the truth beyond traditions or set ideas. To learn to view life as being your path and all things it brings to you as part of your enlightenment training.