Do you spell it with a ‘c’ or an ‘s’?
That depends whether you are intending the verb (doing word – as in “I practise relaxation by letting go of the tension in my jaw”) or the noun (naming word – as in “There are many ways to approach Mindfulness Practice).
It also depends on where you live, whether you use UK English (whatever that is, nowadays) or US English. Some very useful guidelines for UK spellers are here. In England the adjective (describing word, here derived from the verb) – as in “She was a practising Buddhist”- is correctly an “s” word, though my American friends may choose to be different.
Now that we have let that spelling distraction go, I can ask, again (and again):
What is my practice? How, when and why do I practise? Am I a practising Buddhist?
In January 2012 I joined a course on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at Cambridge [UK] Buddhist Centre (CBC), where I was introduced to body-centred meditation practices such as The Body Scan, Mindfulness of the Breath and Body, Mindfulness of Sounds and Thoughts. This and further courses at CBC opened a wider range of practices, including the Metta Bhavana (Development of Lovingkindness) and Just Sitting.
In 2015, as part of a course for Mitras (“Friends” as distinct from “Order Members” of Triratna, the more recent name for Western Buddhist Order), I chose to write a mini-essay for my group, on ‘What is my practice?’
You can click here to read it: What is my Practice
Re-reading it recently, I cringed slightly – it seemed so earnest and a bit “holy” – yet there is much in it that still rings true for me. After all, what is “holy”, but another word for “whole”, “healed”?
And isn’t integration what I am really seeking, in my practice?
That’s another story, which I’ll add later.