Over time I’ve seen that the degree of resistance from conditioning to Recording and Listening is equivalent to the importance of it to this human’s spiritual practice. Really getting that has helped tremendously in breaking through the resistance and playing/experimenting with all the ways R/L can provide the support and reminders so invaluable to my practice.
One of the practices I’ve come to love is recording immediately after morning meditation. It’s an opportunity to check in for the day, share insights that have dropped in, remind myself of things I want to remember or practice, and express gratitude.
I’ve come to realize that having this recording time as part of the morning ritual is another wonderful expression of caring and love. When I first starting doing it, conditioning inevitably told me there was “nothing of importance to say.” Of course, just the opposite has been true, with insights and endearments often shared. And then when I listen back to the recordings, I get to experience all those insights and endearments again.
Inspired by others in the Sangha, I also began practicing with hourly recordings. Not being sure how to start, I began with recordings focused on gratitude — which proved to be wonderful in and of themselves, but also paved the way to expanded recordings about “how the human is doing.” This second part has become an open invitation for expressing all that’s going on. The act of doing the scheduled recording feels like a loved one checking in regularly with support and reassurance. The other benefits of hourly recording that I love include:
- how it interrupts the habitual conversation in the head
- the way it is an invitation to presence
- how it offers an opportunity for renewing or changing focus
During a bout of illness recently, I combined hourly recordings with listening pretty much full time in between. This was an amazing practice. The listening seemed to inform the recordings and vice versa, resulting in insights and “portals” to new ways of seeing. The experience demonstrated for me the power of R/L at a new level. I am not waiting for illness to practice this again!
Choose a day to record hourly for the fun of it. Decide what your focus for recording will be, perhaps gratitude, noticing something beautiful, or acknowledging your contributions. First thing in the morning set your phone or other timer for one hour. Whether you are at work, home, or out and about, when the timer goes off do whatever is necessary to take a break. It doesn’t matter however brief or long the time is, simply record about whatever focus you’ve chosen. When you are finished, set the timer again and continue this throughout the day. At the end of the day listen to your recordings and see what you notice. And you just may want to make a recording about what you noticed and express gratitude for the one who was willing to give hourly recording a try!