"That depends a good deal on where you want to go," said the Cat.
|How long do you practice?|
So often people get so tied up in the amount of time they invest in something and the amount of effort that they put into something that they start to distort, generalize, or even block out whole aspects of this principle to the point where they have no real idea of what they are doing and why.
The second thing I’ve noticed is that many times the 'results' people have in mind change. The real question is “What happened to the results they started out looking for?” Many times it’s “as if” new ideas have been “magically” placed there by some external influences which creeps into their heads unknowingly.
I’ll bet you have met a sales person or two in your life who you’ve seen doing this kind of thing. The kind of thing I’m talking about, playing off of your emotions of ego, power, guilt, shame, wanting, or neediness that hook you into buying into their paradigm or product. Getting others input can be a good thing. What I’m saying is “Do you know what you want or where you are going?”
In Wujifa we often say “Making tea is the highest form of practice” in the practice of Wujifa. The reason we say this is that knowing how to express yourself, influence others and get your point across in a social situation is key. It’s like a very high level of martial art expression. The simple idea of “influence” while connecting with others while drinking tea explores the many subtle levels of the understandings that take place with others and yourself and the possible intended results that may arise.
How will you know and how do you know if you’re making progress is a very functional and personal process that involves understanding what one’s intentions are. Simply said, getting clear on your intentions takes time. This is why we suggest that people practice following through on their intention and practice. This starts by noticing what lessons show up while progressing towards your goals.
Here is a great piece of advice, keep a diary (which I suggest for people starting out) of your stance or daily practice(s). One may reply that they don't really need to keep a diary. Then the real question begs to be asked “How do you know?”
Here is a really cool trick. When you set up an amount of time to stand for example and a time of day to practice, we can call this an intention. Following though on an intention to completion is a result. When you doing this it will become a habit and even more than a habit it also develops the neurons in the brain. If you don’t follow through, then this also develops neurons and patterns, patterns that I bet also show up in other areas of life.
Simply doing a little noticing with a small chunk of your life will have powerful effects. And remember “you are where you are and that’s where you start.”