Practice Makes

Jon Kabat-Zinn and other writers hit the bulls-eye when, discussing Buddhist-style mindfulness meditation, they stress the importance of practice before crisis. I've been trying to deliberately and nonjudgmentally self-observe in odd moments, when walking or waiting or otherwise unoccupied. Although I sometimes think about doing it, I rarely set aside an explicit time for conscious self-awareness.

But if I really need help—when pain from a broken arm keeps me awake through the night, when an argument looms and I can't bite my tongue in time to prevent it, when running a tough race moves past discomfort into the "Why am I doing this?" zone, when one of my well-known personal weaknesses emerges and I lose my cool—my attempts to apply mindfulness techniques are only partially successful ... just successful enough to hint that it could be done much better, given more practice.

^z - 2010-03-13