Joy of Practice XIV

PRACTICE –  HABIT – NON:HABIT
Some people say you have to make practice a habit. In fact you have to make practice a non-habit. A habit is something you want to leave in the dust as soon as possible and never look back.

A habit is an addiction. An addiction doesn´t leave you much choice. You have to do it. There is a pattern inside you which consists of psychological, physical and  emotional elements that tells you again and again: do it!  Again and again the same thing in the same way. If the triggers are pulled you can do nearly nothing against it.

The mind plays a major role in this terrible game: it provides always new models to justify the self-destruction. And while you get emotionally charged up, the body takes action in a mechanical way. You have to drink that glass, sniff that line, smoke that pipe or inject that crack. And also daily chores: behave the same way, talk the same way, eat the same things. Because  . . .  and here your mind fills in the blanks with some concept that subjectively feels good and objectively is destructive.

Are there positive addictions?

This would be a contradiction in itself: human beings move towards freedom even when they are not aware of it or too frightened to see. Freedom means to make conscious choices. And you want to de-select habits that inhibit your growth and development and diminish your quality of life.

By the way, the above written ( you have to drink that glass etc. . .) could also read like: you have to switch on that TV, eat that burger, consume beyond brain etc. Habits are in our life just around the corner. And they never give up unless you start and continue to live a life which is nurturing you. You have to establish a practice which creates non-habits.

Now, what are those non-habits? Some of the properties of a non-habit are intuition, creativity, inspiration, investigation. Not being of a mechanical or repetitious nature (like a machine), they provide a practice in which the daily investigation creates changes in your perception, your thinking and your action.

Actually it is your consciousness which is providing those daily changes. It is your curiosity in what is new and how it is different from before that makes this process interesting. It is your openness to intuitive insights and their application that makes it worth your while. It is even the momentary stillness to feeling inspired and filled with wonders that makes the difference.

Let´s have an example. Anytime in the morning when you go to work you may observe your environment in a habitual or non-habitual way. The usual could consist of the following: you leave your house and get into the car like always. While you drive you complain internally about traffic like always. You blame some politicians because of their inactivity, just like you are used to do it. You perceive the same buidlings and the same trees, and all the people are completely indifferent to you. If the weather is good you feel annoyed because you have to work. If it is bad it makes you feel miserable anyway. You anticipate your workplace and the work for the day, like always. And that also doesn’t make you feel better.

Well, what can you expect from your day in that way?

Here is another option which needs your conscious participation.

Before leaving the house, you kiss your spouse goodbye and you really feel her lips and sensually embrace her. You imagine how you want to explore this a bit more the next free time available. This fills you with energy and while you drive your car out of the garage you listen through the open window to the birds and their mysterious messages. And while you still wonder about their internal communication system you look at the tree in front of your house and enjoy the first spring green having its coming out.

You enter traffic and watch at your fellow drivers with curiosity and sympathy. You wish them internally a good day and your glance walks over to a new store you didn´t discover yet: how fast changes are happening! And you perceive a multitude of interesting individuals going after their business and imagine the buzz they create. And look at that woman in the flower store how carefully she is putting out her gorgeous goods.

You anticipate your workplace and imagine your kids on the photo on your desk. You think about your work and a new approach to make it more fulfilling. You enjoy the flow of interesting impressions you got on this drive to work and feel grateful that you are alive.

Does that sound different?

Getting into a flow of non-habits means getting into flow, change, creating, investigating,  and- last but not least- enjoying! It is your perception, your openness of letting go of the past and the concepts it creates that turn an otherwise similar action into a completely new one.

 

 

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