In an older post on spiritual practice, I explored the notion that spiritual practice is literally a way to practice skills that will show up for us when we’re off the cushion, the mat, or the treatment table. In this post I’d like to talk a little bit about the value of consistency in our daily practice.
Spiritual practices and rituals are supposed to help us bring more depth and meaning to our daily lives. However, our daily practice can sometimes feel routine, boring, empty, or like we’re just ‘going through the motions’. I’ve found, through countless hours of daily Reiki practice spread out over nearly 18 years, that even the boring practices bear invaluable fruit.
Repetition creates habit. Habit creates routine. Routine creates ways of being that feel innate. Think of teeth brushing. Many of us learned this skill as toddlers, and do it daily without effort. Tooth brushing doesn’t always feel meaningful, but it does always accomplish the goal of cleaning your teeth. Reiki practice doesn’t always feel intense, but my experience shows that it always helps balance me. There are times I do it because it’s just ‘what I do,’ and there are other times that I realize, with great clarity, the benefit of what the practice does for me. In those moments I can see so clearly how the many practice sessions that felt uneventful set the stage for these powerful moments of intensity, depth, connection and meaning. They also serve as opportunites for me to learn skills, like I mentioned in the previous post, that show up when I’m not practicing.
Similar to a musician practicing their instrument, or a dancer spending countless hours learning steps, daily self practice helps lay the foundation for beautiful, powerful moments of presence in the ‘performance’ called life.