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  • Writer's pictureJacob Meadows

Reframing the word practice

Updated: Feb 28

These last few days I have taken a step back from everything to enjoy the final few days of a holiday - which in this doing became what this word practice, for me, has probably been hinting at all along... a life lived more present, a catching of self when that presence begins to slip…when the thoughts of the day to day, future and past begin to roll in and rather than pass through, linger and consume, in turn, dulling awareness of that which is actually important. That which is already available to us, right in front of us and within us.

Dissolving and softening are what is necessary for this, a vulnerability, a trust in what is, has and will inevitably happen - the control we attempt to gain over it all only ever reverses these efforts. My practice or project at the moment seems to be to stop searching outside of self and to begin looking more within, so it' remains the lifelong practice of a slowing down of sorts, still a continual excavation, still a turning inward. A tuning in. A realisation, a catching of self, knowing that when things get a bit crazy in here, the external and material temptations won’t offer any lasting respite - other than a temporary fix and in the long run, greater confusion, and chaos. 

Now I'm back at home, and find myself re integrating back into city living after a month of being away on both projects and time off. The setting up of a space that I can find moments of total uninterrupted solitude in feels more important than ever. The Setting up of a sacred space to continuously live in and return to daily without limitations. For me, it is in the ritual that transforms a space, and this in itself holds a whole depth of practice. The lighting of an incense, the taking off of external clothes (the eternal armour), the removing of shoes, the making of a coffee... the marking of the practice... eventually where the space resides physically dissolves away and becomes irrelevant. Ritual is this moment of mindful practice that allows us to listen.

Having been away from London for the best part of the past month, coming back to my room – this need I have felt to escape the city has somewhat dissipated. My practice at this moment is to return to basic actionable principles. Making time. Eating well. Sleeping well. To read. To experience. To exercise. To continue playing. To continue slowing... surrendering… and to keep listening. 

There is also something of being quiet, not just inwardly but outwardly, cultivating a more delicate touch, living with a sense of ease, literally reducing the noise made in this mad rush of life. Moving gently. To break down the wants and pressures of more material means and to invest wholly into the things that matter. To shift the focus onto the process of living a richer, fuller life - over the end product of the art and what is otherwise seen as societal wealth or end products - which will arise in their own form given this time. 

Paradoxically, it’s a shift to take it all a little less seriously yet at the same time, giving it this space and time that is so necessary. And this is something I find most of us mortals have to keep starting a new, each day, from a place of zero. The choices, the thoughts, are a constant, that we can choose to pivot around, persist through or concede to a new direction. This space gives the clarity necessary. 

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