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Getting Practice Started

I’ve been a long-time advocate of having a dedicated practice space to help establish regular practice.  I have my room with the carpets and music all there and a set of practice clothes ready to put on. For the past  couple of weeks I also left my mat unfurled in the middle of the room so I could just walk in and get to it, but this turned out to be a bit too much readiness, as if the room was too eager and pushy.

I’ve gone back to unfurling the mat to begin and furling it up at the end. This is the right amount of ritual. A gentle transition.

How about you? What gets you started?

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    1. In August of 2004 i decided to write a poem every day for a year, which i did, but i didn’t have any special place or time of day to do it. But when i was doing solo improvs, the ritual involved going to a dance studio near my apartment and letting the spirit move me for an hour. (Sometimes i called it “My Ch’i.”) Usually it would begin with some physical sensation or feeling within that became visible movement, which then would lead to sounds that turned into words and vice versa. I would also imagine an appreciative audience at one end of the space or around me, to whom i would talk, often humorously, about what i was doing. (None of this worked as well, of course, when performing for a real audience.) I then worked with a female partner for three years, which is another whole story. Lately i just enjoy moving to music of almost any kind, whether anyone is watching me or not, which is why i like your dance meditation class.

      October 29, 2010
    2. Richard, this is so beautifully penned…I see it in your dance–>this magical cross of sensation and image and undefined but distinct sensory ambiguity. Wonderful to witness.
      And, yes, performance is a whole other thing…

      October 29, 2010
    3. No ritual for me for a long time. It was enough to do it. And no formal practice space. A bit of the entrance to my house, that’s wide enough not to endanger me, but it is the living room. Lately, I’ve been lighting a little metal laughing Buddha votive that sits on a small stand right at the corner of the front door and wall. Last night, I put a picture of Osho behind it. Doing something before unfurling the mat and fumbling with music strengthens the intent behind this, honors it. And I do want to honor it. More and more, I realize that I must go inside to have the outer life I desire, and I know on some level, the more I go inside, the more I will stop trying to order the outer….ironic in the most subtle, humorous way…..

      April 24, 2011

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