One of the most difficult things about mindfulness is that it cannot be intellectualized. It must be practiced. This realization was a “tough shit” moment for me because I love being in my head. After all, we’ve been graced with incredible brains and we should use them, right? But at the end of the day, if all that philosophizing doesn’t better my life, what use is it?

I attended a dharma talk this past weekend and the talk Tenshin Anderson offered was almost ethereal. There were moments of “Oh, I got it” followed by immediate “Nope, I don’t” moments (quite similar to what I experienced in my quantum physics classes in university). He offered a couple of hints of practical wisdom (Where is your place?), but I felt that for the most part, unless one had an established practice in meditation, it wasn’t very applicable for everyday living outside of a Zen center.*

After a challenging end to 2015 where I thought too much and practiced too little and not enough changed for the better, this is what I have emblazoned on my forehead now: Sit more. (Not literally, but I can feel it there.)

The hardest part for me has been coming to my cushion every day, but after a while of committed practice, it has gotten easier and easier. Practice and theory must go hand in hand for one is blind without the other. I studied myself silly between October 2014 and August 2015. I got the theory. Now, it’s time to practice. (And then, maybe sign up for a Sūtras study course because it’s all about balance, right?)

*I’m not well-versed enough in Buddhism to recognize whether this is a lineage preference or a person preference, but I enjoy Tenshin Fletcher’s talks.