Our practice comes down to the way we consciously follow a particular program for our life. The elements of that program are unique to each individual, but include a basic set of: Grounding in the silence. Conscious development and readjustment of our relationship with ourselves, one another and the invisible world. Distancing ourselves from distractions such as noise, desire/craving/wanting, judgment/opinion, fear/resentment/anger/hatred, guilt/shame/humiliation/embarrassment. Following the Alchemical observation, "One book opens another," in reading the works of those who have sought out what works through the ages, and making our own contribution to their effort through reflection on their experience and ours, without taking anyone else's word for anything. Looking for things that ring true, that resonate with something within, that call us to look closer, investigate further, know more. Listening to our heart, our body, our nighttime dreams, and our daily life. Knowing when someone is pushing their way into our life in a way that diminishes our capacity and responsibility for thinking our own thoughts, coming to our own conclusions and deciding for ourselves whom to listen to and what to do-- and drawing the necessary lines. Trusting ourselves to know what to do, when, where and how, and following the guidance that comes from within in all matters great and small. Finding the tipping point, the balance place, between the "I" and the "We," so that "Thou Art That" remains a personal realization and not a communal imposition, and we remain in charge of what to say "Yes" to and what to say "No" to all our life long-- so that the life we live is ours in the fullest sense of the term, and what we do here, now, is entirely up to us, for better and for worse, throughout the time left for living.
We live best from the ground up, and from the inside out. This is called Living Organically. Responding to the world from our Original Nature is offering what we have to give in the service of what is called for moment by moment. To manipulate and exploit each moment in light of what we hope to gain from the moment is to impose our idea for our life on our life in the service of having our way. This is called Living Inorganically. The difference is the difference between living to be who we are and living to be who we want to be. No difference is greater than this difference. It is the difference between having it made and having nothing at all.
Milton Erikson tells a story about a horse walking into his yard when he was a child, and his father ordered him to take the horse home. Milton had no idea where the horse came from, so, he climbed up on the horse's back and kept it from stopping to eat grass, and the horse took itself home. This is a wonderful metaphor for our search for home, God, The Way, The Tao, enlightenment, illumination, awakening, awareness, realization, etc. The 14th observation in "Cultivating Stillness" reads: Although we speak of attaining the Tao, there is really nothing to attain, since we possess it from the very beginning. We arise from the Tao. The Tao resides in us. We cultivate ourselves from within. This is the way it is with home, God, The Way, enlightenment, etc. We only need to know what we know, what is "there" already, within. We have to figure out what it might mean to keep ourselves from stopping to eat grass, and watch us take ourselves home, etc. What are we doing to "shoot ourselves in the foot," and stop ourselves from going "home"? How are we interfering with our own illumination/awakening/enlightenment? Take these questions into The Silence, sit quietly, and see what arises/emerges/occurs/beckons... within. And notice where we "stop to eat grass" on the way to The Silence."
What happened to knock you off track-- if you have been knocked off track? What took the wind out of your sails? What caused you to give up? Quit? Say, "What the hell?" Take up drinking and druggin' and stop exercising? When did you give up and start doing whatever it takes to get through another day? Write yourself a letter about that entire experience. Say all you have to say about it. Delve into it. Don't just pass it off. Explore it. Relive it. Remember it. Write it out. All the way out. Keep the narrative going for as long as it takes. Ask all of the questions that beg to be asked-- and all the questions the questions raise. And do your best to answer them. And ask all of the questions the answers beg to be asked. And answer them. Etc. And So Forth. This is called getting to the bottom of it. You owe it to yourself to do that. The self, I mean, that was counting on you to not do that. That self needs you to do this. It's a way of redemption, of atonement. Of confession. The best way. Start writing.