1 – Holistic Approach
Developing an understanding that life, practice, experience and relationships are ultimately inseparable and consciously considering the life we want to be living.
Recognising that we each have unique goals in life and practice and ensuring that we are incorporating our needs and desires into how we approach things, which allows us to act skilfully and without causing unnecessary harm.
Related to: Right action
Helpful content: Reflecting on Life, Intention Setting
2 – Honest Approach
Being willing to be sincere with ourselves and others, including being vulnerable and admitting where we have challenges in life.
Valuing honesty in other people. Looking to gain a true understanding of different practices and where they can take you, rather than getting swept up in marketing hype and magic bullets.
Speaking from a place of sincerity – feeling into what feels meaningful and safe to share from our own experience, rather than parroting things we believe other people want to hear or will be impressed by.
Listening carefully to what people are saying and being honest about how it impacts us rather than creating judgements and projections.
Related to: Right speech, particularly around truth
Helpful content: Concrete Nouns and Abstract Nouns
3 – Heartful Approach
Connecting with the heart. Understanding that curiosity, openness, joy and compassion are all core components of being able to connect with experience.
Realising that it is through maintaining this sense of openness even when life is hard that we increase the depth and resilience of our beings.
Realising that spiritual practice is not an on and off system that the mind would like us to believe but that life is an experience that we go through one moment at a time.
Connecting with what really matters in life and what you are passionate about, which comes from the heart, and using this to guide your decisions and choices in life.
Related to: Right livelihood, particularly around doing what matters
Helpful content: Seeing That Freeze, Reframing the Brahma Viharas as Questions
4 – Continuous Practice
Bringing practice into daily life, being willing to see ourselves for what we really are and to feel all the feels related to that.
Not turning away from things that are difficult or discluding things as irrelevant to life or practice. Consciously becoming more aware and present for parts of life that are challenging.
Related to: Right mindfulness, particularly around becoming more aware
Helpful content: Continuous Practice, Practice Guides
5 – Shared Practice
Cultivating connections with spiritual friends, mentors and peers.
Sharing in a community where we are able to see each other through the eyes of a good friend; someone who can appreciate your good qualities and point out hard truths in ways that are helpful.
Doing shared practices that helps us rewire ourselves for better connections in relationship.
Related to: Right effort, particularly around cultivating supportive emotions
Helpful content: Create a Thriving Community, Guide to Shared Practice
6 – Contemplative Practice
Making time to connect inwards with our inner worlds. Cultivating the ability to be present with experience without running away from it.
Learning about different styles of practice and considering which practices will be most supportive to our development at the moment.
Going on retreat or doing intensive practice to deepen our experience.
Related to: Right concentration, particularly what to focus on both in wider practice and in moment-to-moment experience
Helpful content: Reflecting on Practice, Overview of All Practice, Where to Start
7 – Mystical Practice
Understanding that the true nature of reality is not necessarily how we initially perceive it and accepting that we all have flawed working models of the world.
Opening to mystical experiences and different ways of understanding and being in the world. Connecting with these parts of experience in a safe and explorative way.
Realising that one of the reasons that we aren’t mindful in life is because when we become present and aware of what is really going on, it is not necessarily what we expect it to be, and using this realisation to understand that secular mindfulness isn’t a particularly viable practice.
Related to: Right view
Helpful content: True Nature Framework, Changes in Consciousness Through Altered States, Enlightenment and Buddhahood – What Counts?
8 – Individual Support
Connecting with someone whose wisdom and experience we respect and we feel that we can learn from.
Recognising that no-one else has the answers for us, but that other people can help by sharing their perspectives and experiences.
Engaging sincerely and openly with one-to-one guidance from someone we trust in a way that we are willing to be vulnerable and open about our challenges, so that we get the opportunity to undo unhelpful conditioning, see things that are in shadow for us, learn the things we don’t know we don’t know and feel supported in becoming flourishing versions of ourselves.
Related to: Right intention, specifically around avoiding tying ourselves in knots that keep us away from our true intentions
Helpful content: The Subtle Narcissism of Spiritual Teachings