What is practice?

Practice is an attitude to approach life. To practice means to do, It means to live based on what is right, not on what is easy.


Practice is an attitude to approach life.

I want to share with you some of the insights I had so far. I want to emphasise that that I write here is my experience, it is what I believe now. These are my truths and are by no means constant and absolut.

It is not some gospel truth, that everyone needs to follow, however I know that a lot of you will find value in this and will recognise parallels in their life.

I will share my thoughts in the term practice with you. It is an idea very dear to me, and I know it will be with me for the rest of my life.

So here you go… Lets talk about practice.

Today this word is thrown around everywhere, especially within the movement culture. If you follow me for a while you will have heard me say it a million times. But what is it actually, what does it mean?  Many people use it, because they heard some of their idols using it, without putting a thought to what it actually means. It sound sexy and different, mystical almost.

There are probably many definitions out there and a google search will tell you many different things, so here I will attempt to clarify what I believe it is. How I define this term and why the perspective that comes with it is so powerful.

Practice is not merely a description of some  simple action but to me is saturated with meaning. When talking about practice we can use it in many different, yet as you will see not so differ ways. Often it is used in combination with other terms: movement practice, breathing practice, yoga practice, life practice etc.

As practice is such a rich term I just want to tell you what it is, without too much simplification, as this would serve nothing and only would lead to further watering down off this idea.

Lets dive in.

When one adopted a practice mindset it means he is:

  • Looking for depth in life
  • Knows that he is responsible and acts accordingly
  • Is constantly learning from his experiences
  • Is oriented towards development

In contrast to training something practicing is an end in it self. The goals is to practice not to reach some other destination. It is about doing for the sake of doing and being engaged with what is. Practice means to BE while you DO

To practice means to do. It means to do what we are supposed to do, confront the uncomfortable, to expose ourself to chaos and to do it willingly and proactively. It means to live based on what is right, not on what is easy.

To practice means to be aware of the connectedness of all things. Of life as a whole. Nothing can be viewed in isolation. Any serious practice thus is a practice of life. Through practice we experience what is meaningful.

In practice we go after experiencing the real and the honest. We experience aliveness. We explore the world around us just as much as we explore what is inside. We express what is uniquely us, we show who we are by what we do.

In practice we are humans BEINGS. Practicing means to spend time being, being present and alive. Without the need of being different.

In practice we reflect upon our experiences. Through reflecting the done principles are uncovered. Truths that are constant in life, by these truths we are guided. Reflection is what will develop us, render us more capable to address the complexity of life.

A practice mindset recognises that perfection is a myth. That easy solutions are a fairytale. However the solutions nevertheless are simple ones, they are simply are one step after the other. 

They are small yet big and action is required. 

Practice is not one process. It’s an adaptive, ever changing and practical way of approaching life.  A life that is ever changing, needs an approach that is flexible and adaptive, that enables us to act.

The practice serves us not the other way around.

The practice of something is the practice of everything.

This is it, and it is all. Development of character is what will be a product of practice. 

Often we think about the quantity of life. The years, the possessions, the accomplishments.

Ultimately however the practice is about the subjective realm. It is about the quality of ones life, The depth of our relationships, experiences and the way we perceive what is happening!

To me practice creates depth. This orientation drives meaning.

What now?

As you can see, to me behind this term, hides a lot. I believe it is central to a well lived life, whether you call it practice or not, the underlying principles need to present. By now you probably ask yourself, but what should I do?

I think first of all, understanding this, knowing it rationally is the first step. This will already change the way you look at the world. Now it is about the simple yet not easy steps that follow. It is important to understand that there is nothing to accomplish, practice can’t be finished, it continues till the day we die. It is our conscious doing in life.

To start means to do. Find something to dive into and dig as deep as you can. Constantly confront the uncomfortable and thus constantly learn. Stay a beginner always. Find a teacher to guide your journey. Reflect on your doings frequently, align them with what you believe to be right and meaningful. Surround yourself with likeminded individuals. It will keep you grounded and hungry, it will help you grow.

Through the experiences you make on this journey you will come to similar conclusions to what I wrote above, or completely different. This is the beauty of individual journeys.

Yet I hope you are left inspired to look for depth in your life, to orient yourself towards self responsibility and what is meaningful, not what is comfortable.

If you stuck with me this long, I am deeply honoured and thank you for your time. Maybe our paths cross in the future, till then. Have a good dive deep.

- Nikolai

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