“Sometimes I chat with stones…”

Thought I’d repost this, something someone wrote on a forum discussing more of an open style of Buddhist “practice”:

My current practice is pretty freeform compared to those above described, but since it is working for me I’ll describe a little. It’s insight meditation, pretty much.

I see the creative part of my brain – call it right-brain for short – as a wild & divinely connected other. In my experience it operates in phenomenological mode, deeply connected into the web of all beings in the world, so connecting with it helps align me with my purpose.

I do lots of difference reflective practices to connect with this divine creative energy. Sometimes I do free drawing, with pencils or colours. I do free writing as well sometimes, and I improvise music with instruments or voice etc as I hear it in response to careful listening to the place around me. I dance, especially if I have access to a stereo and a private space. Sometimes I write down a question from myself and wait to be dictated the answer. Sometimes I chat with stones, plants, insects that I encounter as teachers or fellow-practitioners.

I try to dedicate at least a total of one hour a day to this stuff – and often in 5ish, 15ish, or 30ish minute sections depending on what else is on. For me the crucial thing is, it needs to be fun because otherwise the wild mind doesn’t show. Hence, it’s responsive – “ooh, I finished that, I’ll go out in the woods for half an hour now”.. Or – “I just got home, I’ll put the kettle on and dance to two tracks” – following my feet or my elbows or a particular vertebra in my spine, to listen, to find out how my body is and what it has to teach me right now.

It feels like it has taken me a long long time to settle to a meditation practice I could keep using, and this very flexible but still non-optional kind does it for me. I think the effect it has is to keep me grounded in my body/self & it fulfils my own needs so I’m available to a greater extent to serve in the rest of my life.

I also think it’s a very important point that people who are ready to take up daily practice not be discouraged by a overly limited idea about what meditation is … For me meditation is whatever helps me connect with insight in a way which sets me up to be of service to my ultimate intention in the rest of my life. Spiritual housekeeping.

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