“I thought I was” practicing on my own with daily don yus and attending many sessions each week, but I now realize the benefits of actually relying on myself. The quiet time allows me to begin to hear the internal feeling and calms my mind.
The message of consistency especially intrigued me both in the sense of daily, ongoing practice and the deep sensation of smoothing the physical body out. I have kneaded bread and the transformation from pasty, sticky to smooth and elastic dough is a clear image. I trust that if we just keep going in our practice, day after day, changes will occur.
The notion of “practicing with sincerity” and not just on a superficial level is the difference between having to do something and simply making it a part of my daily activity.
At first I struggled with finding mental space and time; as I continued each day it became easier, more natural. Now I am finding that I look forward to my morning practice and that other times seem to open up naturally throughout the day to continue it. If I find myself getting impatient, for example, that’s a wonderful time to work on my own practice.
Chanting has become a regular part of my day and week as well. After missing LIT Week in January of 2020 due to bronchitis, I was instructed by my physician to begin some breathing exercises. I thought, “I know a breathing exercise – chanting.” On several visits to the International Centre Canada, I have been inspired by the experience of chanting in the Three Religions Temple and I brought home the pink booklet.
I was able to take this opportunity to try chanting on my own. After reading the translation of Goon Yam Gau Foo Ging and its message of compassion, I began chanting it each day, at first standing, later kneeling. Daai Bei Jau seemed out of reach, and repeating each three times? I could hardly keep the pace. But as Chanting for the World continued, consistently, week by week I felt stronger. I found that the kau sau at the beginning and end increased the circulation and helped open my back, too. I could relax into it and that carried over into my day. Now new scriptures challenge but don’t dissuade me; it’s like being a beginner again, and time will bring deeper understanding. Perfection is not a goal.
Reflection is itself a practice, and like a physical form, I think it involves a process of calming the mind, slowing down the rush of new ideas, projects, solutions, plans that have been a large part of my daily routine. A mind racing here and there does not allow feelings from the heart to be heard. This is still challenging me.
I thank Master Moy, his teachers and our leaders who have dedicated themselves to making these arts available. I am grateful that the his teachings are part of my life. I feel happier and not anxious. I know that changes will continue as I continue to practice, that the path is a long one and that I am learning patience and compassion for myself and others.