Preparation for Practice
The 4 aspects
1. Preparing the mind aspect
We should be alert, awake, fresh, present, with good disposition, well rested and willing to carry the full practice before starting. Setting all the daily affairs aside and allocating time so the mind doesn’t wonder about the rest of the world, people, things to do and such is imperative. It is important to make the time and choose wisely when to practice. A practice should be uninterrupted either by external distractions or internal agitation. Too many things pending makes the mind agitated, gets distracted, unsettled and starts thinking about the near future, needs to complete unfinished activities and such. Distractions are one of our most difficult enemies to conquer, be aware of the tendencies to get distracted and take the necessary measurements to prevent it. If any of the prerequisites and considerations mentioned above are not present we should just postpone our practice to a later time when we are in the proper mental space to do it.
It’s about finding a calm mental space and getting used to be in a peaceful and good mindset. The more we practice, this mindset percolates to our daily life and we can engage with our affairs with a stable mind.
2. Preparing the emotions aspect
As our regular days go by, we go through a big array of emotions. Some days are more calm and even, and sometimes is up and down and others days are like a storm. Because our emotions connect the inner feelings and the physical sensation, it is important to find a tranquil inner space to practice. It is very hard to practice when we are still shaking our of fear, blinded by anger or exalted by enthusiasm.
Every emotion has an impact in our mental and physical being so as we develop more into the practices, and we establish a routine, it gets easier to unplug from negative emotions and find the inner serenity necessary to start the practice. So we should only start the practice when our emotions allows us to. It’s all about feelings calm and happy within, the more we practice the more we spend time in this good emotional space which turns into a more pleasant life. Many of us spend days without a good feeling. Practice allows us to come back to the good feelings often and internalize them so they become more and more part of our life.
3. Preparing the body aspect
The body is the one aspect that is not as hard to prepare compared to the others we may think. But with an extremely busy lifestyle where most people feel worn out on the daily basis, what seems common sense ends up needed to be mentioned and reminded. All we should look for is to meet our simple and basic needs, like being well rested, clean, not over fed or hungry and such. Many people have issues sitting down in a comfortable position for long periods of time, specially because they spend lots of time sitting already. Even harder is to seat cross legged on a cushion with a straight back and open chest. If a person finds difficulty to seat that way, they should engage in the adequate physical exercise and stretching routine that will help sustain that posture effortlessly. It is not recommended to practice at night before sleep, the mind and the body are tired from the days chores.
To practice we should find a position that is comfortable but doesn’t promote sleepiness and parts of the body don’t ache. Same with the time, we should choose the times that our body feels well disposed for practice but not times where we’ll limit the practice or we’ll be tired.
If possible stretch on the daily basis and take a few minutes to do it before practice.
Be hydrated and evacuate prior to start. Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t constraint any part of the body. It’s about feeling good, we should get used to feel good during practice. Engaging in practice develops a long lasting pleasant body feeling and health.
4. Preparing the space aspect
The space of practice is imperative. We shouldn’t judge a space, ever! The whole world is a divine creation and has messages ready to be heard by the alert one. We never know when we’ll get a realization and what will trigger an enlightening thought. Epiphanies are everywhere.
But to develop the alert mind that listens carefully we need to practice. Best is to practice in a calm setting in nature, with mild temperatures and a fragrant breeze, free of insects or animals that will distract us. If that’s not possible an indoor space can emulate the same qualities. Well vented, mild temperature, free of noises and distractions from animals or people.
What is important is that we find ourselves in a safe space that we can surrender ourselves and dive within.
As we become more sensitive, we’ll recognize that certain spaces have a feel of agitation, unsettledness, sleepiness and so on. Please turn off electronics and stay away from EMF’s as much as possible.
As we practice our environment changes with us and the inner qualities that we develop grow pass our physicality and start affecting our surroundings to match our well being.
The preparation to practice is like the warm up before the training and the more we get used to it, it aids us in the practice itself. Eventually we can get to a point that the preparation becomes almost automatic. We can center ourselves so easily and quickly that requires very little to almost no effort to get ready. That in return becomes a valuable tool for our daily life, other aspects of more advanced practices and the achievements of the practice start percolating to our life.