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Better Physically, Mentally, Spiritually

I feel I have been writing in circles for the past few weeks. Sorting through my many reflections on the messages I have heard this past year. Where to start, what to say, what I am feeling, how have I improved. 

First, I would like to express my gratitude to the board for all that they have shared with us this past year, their dedication to helping us find the path that Mr. Moy left for us and for keeping us safe.  

In the beginning the self-practice just seemed to be a physical thing, trying to figure out where to do it, how much to do, and when I should do it. Oh, what the heck, stop worrying about all those things. Just do it! Now, I can just relax and pay attention to what I am feeling physically. Letting go and feeling the whoosh of the drop, whoa! now I am going up, up, up…whoosh, oops missed that one, oh well, will get it next time. On and on and around it goes. The more I practice the better I feel physically.  The physicality of the practice makes my body parts happy (bad knees) and my heart sing with joy.

The second part of my practice that has also become more consistent this past year is the chanting. Pre-pandemic chanting practice was somewhat sporadic, from a few times per month to two or three times per week. At first it was difficult to do a whole sutra on my knees, but now it is much more comfortable and easier to get up at the end! The chanting practice of course has been much more than physical. It has offered up the opportunity to turn off everything else; a respite from things going on in my daily life. To focus on the chant and just be. My only intention at that moment is to be one of the many voices offering this chant to care for the world.  Chanting helps me feel calm, centered, and more resilient; better able to handle life’s challenges.

The third part of practice has been hearing the messages from the directors and others during the Saturday sessions as well as the Wednesday meetings. At first, I tried madly to write down every word that was spoken, only to end up with a bunch of illegible scribbles, incomplete sentences, and thoughts. Now I try to listen more for the feeling and hear what has been said, how things are said, how corrections are given and then reflect on what I have heard and how I can apply those messages to my own practice.

Then I take these messages to the regional and branch meetings and apply them to the administration. Don’t worry, just get it done, see things 360, look further down the road. Encouraging others to self-practice and reflect on the messages heard. At first it was simply looking at one's notes and the regurgitation of the words that had been spoken. As time went on there were more exchanges of reflections from the heart.

So, am I better? You bet I am – physically, mentally spiritually.  Am I stronger? For sure – the foundations have been laid! Is there room to be better? Yes!

Polishing my stone requires consistent daily maintenance and I am grateful for the opportunity to make reflections a part of my daily practice. Stronger for myself, my family, my FLK community and the world!

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