The Three Pillars of Practice
In mastery, there are three stages: Practice, Experience and Insight.
In the practice stage you repeat your forms over and over as you reach toward mastering the craft. With this repetition you gain experience. Over and over and over accumulated experience grows in your body and mind. From this experience, you will gain insight. And the insights illuminate the skills that are building in you, feeding a sense of profound accomplishment.
What’s important is that you do not stand still in your insight! Keep growing. Turn those insights back into your practice. Gain more experience, and stay open to ever new insights. These three pillars will accompany you on the path toward mastery in any field. They have certainly been ever present for me over thirty years of Shiatsu practice.
Shiatsu is a Japanese bodywork discipline, it follows the many arts of Japan such as tea ceremony, flower arranging, archery and Tsumo wrestling. The method of learning to move and respond from your Hara, the center of your being, your feeling center, is at the core of all Japanese arts. And this is supremely evident in the floor-based bodywork practice of Shiatsu.
Of course, you don’t have to have a desire to crawl around on the floor and move people’s bodies about in this way, awakening and activating life energy of body mind and spirit through acu-points and meridians, to appreciate the three pillars of practice. You can apply this understanding to any and every endeavor in your life.
The areas of life experience where I’ve applied these principles have included the arts of HeartMind Shiatsu and Qigong, Singing, Writing,Tai Chi, Relationships, Co-parenting, Shamanic Ceremonial Ritual, Grief, Pain and Trauma Healing, and Men’s Work.
In a series of essays, I offer you an in depth article each week. The articles will cover a wide range of topics rooted in these areas, from my decades of personal and professional experience.
In applying the three pillars to the craft of writing, I’m following the maxim that “a good article isn’t just written, it is re-written!” I’m growing and gaining insight into each of my topics, as I write from my own personal experience and gather insight from the current conversations of various masters in each field. My sincere endeavor is to share the insights that I have gained to help you develop your own mastery of living.
I have three articles in process. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, enjoy applying the three pillars of practice to whatever endeavor you are engaged in today!
Practice regularly. Build experience. Gain insight. And Don’t stand still in your insight! Apply it back into your practice.
Over time, your mastery of your craft will help the entire world be a better place.
Wishing you a fine Sunday!
Matthew Sweigart, AOBTA® – Certified Instructor