Daily Practice helps keep me from going crazy. No, seriously, in a world where so little is in your control, seemingly less filled with compassion and more filled with injustice, daily practice allows you to sink into the safety of the only thing constant in your life, the breath. I encounter people everyday, whether direct or in passing, and wonder… are they breathing? I mean, really breathing? With faces intently locked onto phones, harnessed at the computer, walking briskly, or rapidly talking, I wonder are these people actually breathing?
Over the years, daily practices have waxed and waned, but committing myself back to intentional breathing has brought me back into alignment and into my body. It's the commitment to giving yourself permission to breathe with intention, as in 10 deep nourishing breaths every day that starts the cycle of cultivating daly practice. Whether in bed before you get up, in the shower, or on a mat (meditation, yoga, or other), commitment to the breath is at the core of life.
The commitment to breath and to additional practices will be easier as it gets more ingrained in the schedule of your life. Pick a time in the day, 10 minutes at most, and make it your time. I keep a small electric candle in my desk drawer at work, and once at my desk, I light it and give myself a moment to set the intention and the breath. My intention is always the same: “May this day be of merit to all, and may I invite the easeful over the dis-ease.” This one simple act is making my commitment to self at my scheduled time, and doing more than showing up, but rather actively being mindful. It may only last those 10 minutes, but it was 10 minutes more than ever before. Those minutes are life changing, because unlike every other moment, they are 100% yours.
While each person will come into their own daily practice; here are three tips for starting.
Give yourself the permission to have daily practice. Permission to empower one moment in your life that is just for you and the breath.
Thank yourself for giving yourself permission and verbally acknowledge and affirm that you are worthy of living a life that is not full of dis-ease.
Release your affirmation into the day (or night) with gratitude, and offer that the world the dedication of merit. “may all beings benefit from compassion, and give themselves permission to breathe.