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Thread: How to practise practice

  1. #1
    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    How to practise practice

    I find myself here a lot - trying to get into the habit of practice. I know what it is I want to achieve and do, but I ain't doing it.

    Simple things like centering, building and maintaining shields (personal and property), working with my local vaettir etc, let alone meditation and trancework (all these magnificent other/inner worlds you people speak of). The first ones I can do quite easily, they've always come easy to me, but I know then how much better I could be at them. Others I've never experienced through lack of effort.

    I know the trick is consistency, and all the standard things like 'put aside 5 minutes a day', 'start small', but you know how mental life is. Sometimes we forget to feed ourselves, let alone find 5 minutes to do a thing. And which thing do I do first? Meditate for 5 min? or pray? I'm re-reading Norse Shamanism for the 4th time, but there is just so much to do. I know I should start small, but like weight loss, im impatient, and I know with sufficient effort I can lose 5 kilos in a month if I really tried.

    I'd like to be celebrating the WotY a bit more too. I feel an affinity to the seasons, but I don't seem to care enough day to day to do anything about it.

    So how do you practise practice? What things are you doing regularly? What things were you doing regularly that you're not anymore? What do you wish you were doing?
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

  2. #2
    Sr. Member Chessa's Avatar
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    Re: How to practise practice

    I started taking a daily walk to the park- it guarantees me an hour of meditation (I can't quit halfway through, because I still have to get back to my dorm). If I have time, I'll sit in one of the trails and read or study something, or work on a small skill. If I don't have homework, I'll watch a pagan vlog or learn a new song while I sit with my laundry. Most of this was at the expense of a social life, but I recently discovered that I don't actually like hanging out, so there's that...

    As for what to start with, I just started walking. I forced myself to get up and walk each day, and once that became routine, I use my walking time to work on whatever skill I feel weakest in at the time. For instance, right now I'm working on shields.


    I didn't start small, though. I have about 5 kilos I want to lose too, so I just up and decided to walk 5 miles. Then I did it again. And again. Then I hurt myself. I am not smart.

  3. #3
    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Re: How to practise practice

    Yeah my social life is pretty involved lol. It's about to get too hot here to go walking really.

    And I was using exercise as a metaphor lol, sorry you hurt yourself though!
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

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    Sr. Member Chessa's Avatar
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    Re: How to practise practice

    Eh, I'd say it's a part of the learning process, but I never seem to learn lol

  5. #5
    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: How to practise practice

    For me it's pretty hit and miss tbh. I couldn't tell you the amount of months where one of my monthly aims was, 'get back into the swing of daily meditation' (or words to that effect), because I've fallen off the wagon... again... Then I have to start trying to work out what's getting in my way (and often it's me getting in my own way).

    In fact, it was only in September that I finally realised why I had been struggling to meditate since June. We moved the dining table into the bay window (where I used to sit to meditate) back in June. I started sitting in front of the table instead, but it wasn't working for me. Once I'd realised what was up I found myself a new space in an alcove and this time I have a little wooden altar and a tiny set of drawers to keep incense cones in and other supplies, so it's really cosy and inviting. I've been skipping my meditation much less since. I do skip, and sometimes for a few days in a row, but I generally make my way back to my little space.

    Have you ever heard the supposed zen proverb, 'You should meditate for 20 minutes a day, unless you don't have the time, in which case you need an hour'. I don't know if it's a real proverb, but I like the sentiment behind it. It really motivates me to make time to meditate.

    My main problem is in constantly chopping and changing what I want to do with my meditation time. I'd love to meditate on the chakras every day for example, but time spent actively visualising is time taken from the deep quiet meditation that I crave the most. So I find myself constantly trying to tweak what I do to find a way to get through everything I feel I should do, yet in my heart of hearts, all I want to do is let my breath take me away until I am completely still.

    Other than that, I'm happy to tick along slowly when it comes to my spirituality and practice. Day to day it's pretty mundane and uneventful really. I use diaries and journals a lot (I have a bit of an obsession with notebooks), which helps me to remember to do things like house cleansing at the end of the month and of course the lunar rituals. Reflecting on my progress so far and setting goals at each new moon helps also helps give an impression of structure and progress and that encourages me to keep going. Writing in a journal might not be a fancy ritual, but I consider it an integral part of my practice. Also I've found that being flexible about when I do my rituals helps ensure they happen. For example, if I'm working on a sabbat, or have plans that night, I'll move it to a night when I know I'm free. I also keep my esbat simple so it can be carried out even if I'm at work. The witches date book helps me to keep track of when to do these things.

    Didn't you mention here before that you like to make everyday routines and actions into rituals? I find there's a lot of power in that. I have a chant for spiritual cleansing I wrote in uni that I still use today when I'm in the shower, and there's a little 'spell' I'll say over my morning cuppa (although I haven't done this in months if I'm honest).

    I joked about how often my rituals end up being just a single candle on my fireplace, but it's really true. The only daily ritual I have is lighting a tealite candle in a jar on the fireplace in thanks for my home and that my basic needs are met. I add a request for blessings upon my home and all the beings that share it with me. It takes seconds but I believe it's one of the most powerful ritual I do.
    Last edited by Jembru; 17 Nov 2016 at 11:55.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

  6. #6

    Re: How to practise practice

    I'm slowly, slowly putting it all together as I have not been a "real" practicing pagan (people tend to go nuts whenever the word 'real' is used as an attribute, but please, I only used it to emphasise my complete noobness) and still it takes some work to get all the bits and pieces together from all that information that is everywhere.

    For me it works to get inspired. Sure, whatever your ritual is, it isn't going to be an amazing life-changing experience but a little spark of inspiration could be there almost every time. I'm not the type of person to memorise loads of text or go by instructions (I can't remember them and then I mess everything up or focus extremely on the performance). For me magic is pretty much about imagination. It happens in my imagination, it does things to my imagination, for me it's imaginary - but for me my imagination is one of my most important possession if not the most important. So it all begins with that.

    But then there is the tricky part: these things like grounding and centering that I've heard to be important (I remember hearing about grounding over a decade ago, still don't grok it) but somehow they just don't fit in. I can't get a grip of them so I don't do them and if I believe all the Pagan sites online, I should be doing them. Maybe I should give them a go but there's this overly intellectual anti-newager who just doesn't find the idea too appealing. But then again, if I dare to say I'm doing pagan practices then why not? What is there to be ashamed of, new-agy or not? Much of these 'basic practices' haven't found their way to my life. So maybe I should work on that.

    But just like Jembru, I'm pretty much the "one candle" type of pagan. Mostly those cheap tealights I bought a bag of some years ago. Making daily chores into something "larger" is an appealing idea to me. If you can't put aside time or space for rituals (or don't want to), why not do them on-the-go. That also could make chores a bit more meaningful (I have problems with that as I tend to slip into anxiety mode while cleaning).

    Oh, and meditation. I have to say a few words about that. I'm a lousy meditator. These was a (non-pagan) phase in my life when I meditated twice a day, 20 mins each time (if I remember correctly I could keep on about two-three months). Somehow it is just really difficult for me. I'm too drowsy, too this and too that. I've had several longer meditation streaks and it was the same. Maybe I should try again. Or different style. Or something. But I'm very much interested in the possibility of building a daily practice without meditation.
    baah.

  7. #7
    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    (So like short answers because on my phone and its nearly midnight but I wanna keep this going)

    Jem, I don't journal. Any time I've tried it's failed. In fact my more "real" practises are completely spontaneous. But also few and far between. I know I can *do* the things. But consistency is my issue.

    I also don't have a space to dedicate. I have an altar. In my bedroom. It's most just pretty. And covered in dust. I did set up a tiny space in my tiny house to do yoga. Bets on how long since I did that?
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

  8. #8
    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    I love the idea of meditating on chakras. Thems something I can work with. But then my "work with" list is pretty big too haha.

    I can barely clean my bathroom once a week, other than do yoga (which btw I consider my best centering practise) or pour out offerings to the vaettir or wash my sheets.
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

  9. #9
    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Näre, I kinda consider centering snd grounding kinda like when you get off a Rollercoaster and need to just sit on the solid ground for a few moments. I dunno if that analogy works for you but yeah. I also believe it's crucial. I dont do it often, and I'm bad at recognising I need it, but thankfully it comes easily. Mostly I notice I need it when I'm in multi story buildings. I just can't feel the earth. Same when I have to wear shoes haha.
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

  10. #10
    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    I also don't see any problem with reading pieces of text out of books in the middle of ritual. Bugger memory. Can't rely on it, so I don't!


    On the "one candle" stuff. I think the most consistent ive ever been is when, in year 12, I would draw a rune every day to see how my day would go, and write it down. I also had a bindrune I formed from a draw I did about my results (that was telling AF).

    I really think I need to do the Seed exercise in northern shamanism. Plant a seed and pray every day ffs. Simple. Cool change coming in tomorrow. And day off. Might go find a statice seed. I think i have some. They should survive the shit weather thats coming. Long enough to develop some. Practise anyway.
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

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