The Power of Habit

TALK: What habits of mind are you building?

You hear teachers say it again and again, in every tradition: explore for a bit, and then choose one practice and commit. They’re right – sort of. It’s absolutely true that if you want to build a new habit, you have to repeat the same mental action again and again. That’s how to create healthy conditioning – there is no way around it, and for many teachers, that means sticking to one practice. But the higher truth here is that as long as you know what qualities of mind you are training, then you can repeat those same habits of mind in any technique or practice. This is practice as the quality of attention (ie, concentrated, equanimous, friendly etc), we bring to an object, vs the object of attention itself (ie, sound, emotion, mantra, breath). These qualities of attention are where we build our continuity: they are our habits of mind. So what habits of mind do you want to build? This Monday, we explore.