Welcome to the first day of the virtual course! We’re so glad you’re a part of this community
Today we start off by discussing practice (Sadhana).
Starting a spiritual practice can be an exciting and exhilarating time. We feel so alive and inspired and we tend to begin with a great amount of enthusiasm.
Yet, no matter what we practice, eventually each of us will run into various obstacles - boredom, illusions, ego trips, taking ourselves too seriously, and stagnation. This does not mean we have done something wrong or the practice is not working, it is simply an invitation to notice our habits and keep going.
QUESTION: What are some ups and downs you’ve experienced in creating and maintaining a dedicated practice?
Log into Teachable to access your day 1 teachings here: Day 1 - Sadhana (daily spiritual practice) - March 16th | Ram Dass
I’ve had difficulty keeping up with my practice when I get in the habit of focusing on too many things that are “good” for me. I want to live out of balanced centers (body, heart, mind), so I start to over-involve/consume with activities trying to meet needs in every area—reading spiritual texts, joining discussion groups/programs (ha!), listening to podcasts/talks/videos, focusing in diet, practicing different types of exercise/movement, learning new meditation/mindfulness techniques, meeting with a spiritual director or talking with fellow students, etc. These are all “good” “healthy” things on the surface, but what I find is that often I don’t end up being balanced. I find that I’m not leaving space to be fully present, and I can exhaust myself from “efforting” to be present vs just being so. Fortunately, I do see these patterns, and I’m learning how to allow for more spacious, quieter, slower being. When living out of this flow, I’m not trying to fervently consume every possible experience, but I can savor each moment more presently, also gleaning more from it afterwards when time has been allowed for integration/reflection. I’m learning how the practice/Sadhana is the grounding anchor that sets the pace and rhythm for each day (each moment even) that I can keep returning to.
Your share resonates with me, Thank you . I am becoming more and more suspicious that this, that feels to me like striving and grasping, is an expression of fear, the fear of not enough. The wonderful Tao of it all is that this suspicion is birthed in the opening that comes from that which I am suspicious of, the always learning. Perhaps I might be gifted with discovering that it is all good, complete and perfect in each and every moment. Either way the narrative carries the vocabulary and energy of the idea of selfhood… love
Namaste beloveds. Not setting a regular time to practice is an obstacle. I love that Ram Dass mentioned sadhana along with other self care like brushing your teeth, eating. It’s spiritual self care. I need to go to my meditation room rather than sit in the living room where I can be interrupted.
I also have problème to have a regular practice . It’s help to Know it is part of the learning but when I do I feel so good .My intention is to set a time to do it everyday .
I think in general, I just struggle with forming new habits. Especially when I am the one responsible for holding myself accountable. For example, I struggle way less with consistency of my yoga practice because 1) I pay for the monthly membership to my studio (which is motivating ;)) and 2) all I have to do is drive to the studio, roll out my mat, and let my teachers guide me. When I am home, distracted, busy, and have a million other competing responsibilities, I will allow my meditation practice to take the back seat. Which is frustrating and leaves me feeling like a bit of a failure. But every time I do my practice, I feel so good after. Why is that not enough of a motivation to keep me going? I wish I knew.
hi everyone! the major struggle ive faced is perfectionism… both when it comes to maintaining my spiritual practice and habits, and also how I act in the world. I’ve come to realize that if my major values are gentleness, not taking life too seriously, not being too hard on myself or others – but then I get lost in judgment of myself and expecting myself to be above all this human stuff – that judgment and harshness actually actively goes against my values! and is the opposite of what im trying to be and do. that realization that being patient with myself and allowing myself to make mistakes is the most heart-aligned thing I can do, has freed me and actually made it easier for me to live closer to my values, and in turn make the mark on this world that I strive to
Sometimes it can be tough to convince myself to do my sadhana but as Krishna Das would say, its important that I sit yourself down and do it, because it does help. One can come up with many excuses to not do it, but I find its essential.
The consistency of my practice over time has definitely ebbed and flowed. I’ve gone months with a consistent practice time and done well to integrate it into daily life. Unfortunately, life has a way of getting in the way and, as Ram Dass said, the world has a way of pressing in on that time and if you aren’t careful, you get distracted. I’m certainly in the distracted phase now and trying to get back into rhythm.
Hello to all! i struggle to keep a regular practice when i have big work weeks or when i am on vacations.
Not sure if reply is the correct way to add my comment. i thought this was going to be a zoom group. Anyway, I found a daily meditation on zoom and put it on my calendar. But i never open the link cause i am usually too deep into other work and correspondence to stop. Perhaps i need to find a better time of day than noon.
My experience as-well Dena
No Zoom Mtg link included, that I could find
Just found the Zoom link on the first page of Teachable
You are telling my story!
I know what you mean by the overwhelming choices! I am working on trusting I will be drawn to whatever…
Hoping to find the Zoom link in time for tomorrow’s class. This is feeling like a labyrinth on my cell phone. Whoopee, grist for the mill » Caro Manu. Oakland CA
intermittent partial reinforcement? Brain novelty bias? « it’s never as good as the first time »?! I wish i lived in a long hall requiring a one minute re-grounding practice every time i left one room and entered another!
I could not find it. Please post, thank you
I’ve had some wonderful experiences in meditating and dreams, since finding Ram Dass about 3 months ago. And I’ve also been finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning, with the feeling that my brain and heart are being rewired and it’s hard work!!! After the Zoom meeting today, I’m going to make meditation and visualization be my “first thing” every morning, even if circumstances require me to be brief. I love this path. I love this path. I love this path.