With the opening of the new Centre, we each have to find a balance between our own practice and the shared practice we find at RMML. I don’t think there is any point in debating which is “better”, whatever that might mean, and I don’t think it is an either/or choice. Both forms of practices are necessary for us to mature in mindful living.
Only solitary practice puts us in an environment of “no hiding place”. When I park myself on my seat, it is just me and the moment. I have no obligations to worry about others in the way that occurs in a group. Whatever arises, distracts or informs me is completely intimate, raw, inescapable. If I slip into distraction or excuse-making or self-praise/criticism, those states stand out like black letters on a white page.
Conversely, group practice presents an important contrast. We are obliged to make room for others in our space and awareness. We cannot tune people out, turn away or trivialize them. Their practice is inescapably tied up in what we are experiencing, and so we are inescapably required to make room for them. This keeps us focussed on the larger purpose we have for mindful living, that we do it in part for ourselves and in a similar part for the benefit of others. We cannot drift into our own little created space, with our familiar experiences. Practicing with others is a bit like practice outdoors in that we are not able to seal ourselves off, but have to come to terms with all that is happening around us, as well as in us.
Have a look at this week’s other posts:
- Remembrance - The Buddhist concept of memory
- Pedestrianism - A Book Review of a new book on high stakes walking in the Victorian era
- PARA-What? - Exploring the idea of mindful living
Yours , on purpose,
Mindful Living in Renfrew County ....What’s got your attention?