Ten Practice Tips

  1. Constancy.
    Sit every day, even if there are times when it can only be for five minutes.
  2. Take Responsibility for Your Own Learning.
    Find the middle way between discipline and laxity, between turning over your power to another and reacting to perceived authority (thereby missing the opportunity to learn from the experience of others).
  3. Go to Retreats.
  4. Find a Community to Provide Support and Structure for your Practice.
    If you only experience mindfulness, peace, and compassion in solitude, they are not truly yours.
  5. Set Your Life Up So the Things That Matter Most Are Never at the Mercy of the Things That Matter Least.
    Define your core values; become more committed to the people in your life than your to-do list.
  6. Understand and Work with Your Store Consciousness.
    Consciously water the positive seeds and reduce the water supply for the negative seeds.
  7. Learn the Skill of Pausing and Refraining.
    This helps us not to engage in strong habit energy, to make choices consciously rather than be triggered by old responses to people and situations.
  8. Appreciate the Humanity and Buddha Nature of Yourself and Others.
    So that we can avoid being caught by the behaviors of others and avoid identifying others by their behavior.
  9. Set Appropriate Boundaries for Yourself and Others and Attempt to Resolve All Conflicts.
    Have the intention to restore harmony rather than attributing blame; this requires discerning wisdom about whether gentle or fierce compassion is called for.
  10. Do Not Get Caught in Notions of Praise and Blame.
    We get caught in grasping (praise) and aversion (blame) when we are seldom the true objects of either.

by Cheri Maples (originally published in the March/April 2010 SnowFlower Sun)