There are some systems built over time that have a certain modularity in them, a pluggability. An essence, that can be extended upon, drawn on at any time, "bootstrapped" so to speak, with common assumptions and observations and beliefs. The Chinese systems of politics, philosophy, religion, medicine, health, divination, and astrology all share a single thread; they are observations of change. The study of how change changes, or what the process of change entails, has been mystifying human beings since the beginning of time.
#1 - If you are practicing (practice mantra: “I am practicing balance”) in a balanced way - that induces the beginnings of balance ongoing. How? Rhythm is essential to understanding this - and something to keep learning from. If something goes in and out, left and right, and up and down in a regulated way, it can carry its own momentum into greater and greater lengths of time without an external force. The secret is that balance practiced ongoing through rhythm produces breakthrough - or what was not possible is now possible or what was not known is now known.
A lot of things have been suggested over the years as to how our personal practices can improve. Why we do or don't practice on a regular schedule, and how we interpret our practices as being good/bad goes through a few changes as well. One thing that is important to note: all of the suggestions about improving your personal practice rely on you having one. As obvious as that might be to most, it can sometimes take four or five years to even begin considering that you don't have one, and aim for it.
One of the greatest challenges when starting to practice is believing what your teacher is saying enough to actually try it out in your own life (or for that matter, in class!). This is because most of what is suggested seems risky and improbable and might be a significant departure from the way you are accustomed to doing things. I am here to tell you that it is improbable that you or anyone else will actually listen and change. Don’t be a statistic!
An affirmation is a way of speaking to yourself at a level deeper than you are currently conscious of. Technically speaking, we should not need to speak to ourselves because we are ourselves, nonetheless its still worth our time. Some things I tell myself
Transformation Arts is a name that implies the inherent ability of anyone or anything to change. The definition of society as it currently stands (poorly) is the old phrase about our parents that "they will never change, you just have to accept that." What is it about us that refuses to be any different than we already are?
Practicing stillness can be shown through movement. Movement occurs in stillness. The bodily systems are circuits within that connect to circles outside. A practice that involves moving the body in circular ways connects inside and outside circles. When we view ourselves as actually being inside and outside circles, instead of "us" as a static ego-entity, then life is flowing more like water. When life is flowing like water we move from situation to situation without preconceived notions. Does water think about where its going next?
In my travels I acquired a book, "A Guide To the Bodhisattva's Way of Life" by Shantideva. In its section "Meditation", verses 10-15, it reveals a common situation in community groups, personal relationships, and in power struggles.
10 One moment they are friends And in the next instant they become enemies. Since they become angry even in joyful situations, It is difficult to please ordinary people.