Now is the perfect time to start again!
"Please remember: This is your recording, your life, and your awareness practice. You cannot do it wrong. You cannot go astray unless conditioned mind talks you into quitting. And even that's not really a problem. You'll remember sometime and that will be the perfect time to start again."
— Cheri Huber from What You Practice Is What You Have
Has some time passed since you last recorded and listened? Not a problem! Now is the perfect time to start again. Here are a few suggestions for jumpstarting a Recording and Listening practice:
Practice no reviews
Egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate would love to come in at this point and give you an earful about what it means that you stopped Recording and Listening. But we're finished with feeling bad, right? Put the practice of NO REVIEWS into effect — along with NO BEATINGS — and turn your attention back to thisherenow where a new opportunity to record and listen eagerly awaits!
- List all of the things you appreciate about yourself, about practice, about Recording and Listening, and about Life. Acknowledge and celebrate the person who practices and thank this person for the willingness to begin again. Ask the Mentor for some appreciations too!
Start right where you are
There's no need to wait for conditions to be different in order to begin again. You don't need to be in a "better" frame of mind or feel a certain way. You don't have to have the perfect new recording planned out or know the "right" thing to say. Just start right where you are!
- Pick up the recorder, press record, and start talking. What's going on, right here, right now? Notice sights and sounds in your surroundings. Observe body sensations, thoughts, and emotions. What do you most want to hear right now? Allow the Mentor to offer that to you. Ask the Mentor how best to jumpstart your R/L practice. (Suggestion: Record the Mentor as a separate track. Often the words of the Mentor are what we will want to go back and listen to repeatedly.)
Make it fun, uplifting, and inspiring!
Keep Recording and Listening off of the "should" list and keep it in the realm of "want to." What lights you up? Get it on your recorder!
- Record gratitude lists, inspiring quotes, and readings. Recite poems, sing songs, and do whatever uplifts you and brings you to that "lit up" place. Walk in nature as you record and as you listen.
Avail yourself of support
Use Reflective Listening Buddies calls or calls with a Zen Awareness Coach to support your renewed commitment to Recording and Listening. Or call into the Open Air Radio Show. Bring this R/L focus to the forefront of your practice and find ways to be accountable and stay energized. Check out Living Compassion's schedule for support opportunities.
- "Bookend" a practice call (RLB, ZAC, or Open Air) by recording both before and after the call. See what insights arise.
Dive into email classes
Email classes are great support for Recording and Listening and can renew and reinvigorate a lapsed practice. If you've participated in an email class in the past, go back through the assignments and do them again. (Hint: it's always new!) And sign up for the next one!
- Record email class assignments. Talk them over with the Mentor. Record responses from other participants and replies from the Guide. Include insights as they arise.
Reconnect with "old friends"!
Listening to those recordings you haven't heard in a while is like reconnecting with old friends. An intimate relationship has been established and captured on your recording device. Rekindle that relationship!
- Listen to all those old recordings! As you listen from a new perspective, allow insights to arise and record what you see currently. Extract the greatest hits — the top insights — and record them on a new track.
More R/L Practice Ideas to jumpstart your Recording and Listening practice:
- Set aside an hour and just listen, listen, listen to remember how amazing the practice and the Mentor are.
- Do the Making a Change for Good 30-Day Retreat with the focus of jumpstarting a Recording and Listening practice.
- Choose a piece of content and record about it every day for 100 days.
- Follow the R/L Practice: 14 Days of Exercises
- Check out all the wonderful Sangha Submissions for R/L practices.
- Get creative! Come up with your own inspiration to jump start your R/L practice and share it with Sangha here!