Repetition alone won't do it

The Sanskrit word samsara describes a repetitive cycle that one is bound to as long as it remains unconscious. When we learn to do anything we break new ground, but also establish a new habit.

Learning a new thing may challenge or destroy and old pattern. We often learn the minimum required to gain the perceived benefit of the task. You learned to walk, but few learn to walk on a balance beam or step so slowly they notice the lack of balance while remaining on one foot. Uncovering this inability and then becoming better at it through conscious repetition, noting when and why balance is lost is called "practice".

It is psychologically uncomfortable to seek areas of weakness in our thinking and prior perspectives. But without the desire to find the weak links within ourselves, we cannot practice to strengthen them, or accept our limitations as the case may be.

Eventually, the short-term benefit of finishing a task poorly only to do it again without knowing how to get better is replaced by the recognition that everything in our lives is like this. The yoga pose can be a field of inquiry, not a box on a checklist. The checklist exists because of the story that you'll be rewarded when all the boxes are checked. But when you arrive at your terminus in expectation of reward, the list just appears again to be filled, and again and again. This is your life, the reward is the increasing competence of performing the task, making an art of

the opportunity to practice.

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