Regular discussion sessions have helped me focus my thoughts about how my practice is affecting my whole life. There are physical benefits of course, and individual practice has helped me to pay closer attention to what is happening inside as I do danyu, toryu or any other practice.
I have heard – and even said – many times that it’s all the same – doing a set, foundations, chanting, meditation and so on, but recently I’ve realized just how true that is. I don’t exactly understand how it is that quiet sitting can create the same warmth inside as doing danyu, or how chanting can create the same sense of internal movement as doing a set, but it is very clear that this is the case.
More importantly, given the pandemic, I am aware of the steadying influence of the practice and the connection to my fellow participants. While in my (virtual) workplace, people are struggling to keep up with their work while looking after children who are at home, I am finding the same struggles, but that they are much easier with regular, daily practice!
Practice keeps me balanced and happy, and this is something that rubs off on other people, even when conversing by phone or skype. “Self practice isn’t selfish” – another thing that I thought I understood but as of this week am understanding in a new way.