Your Practice Field.
We offer 12 Wisdom Practices to cultivate Contemplative Learning.
The 12 practices are organized in three vessels, each preparing learners to integrate wisdom into an interdependent awareness.
- Grounding Vessel – practices 1 through 4 – develops a foundation for the fullness of being human.
- Path Vessel – practices 5 through 8 – cultivates the practice and possibility of co-creation.
- Fruition Vessel – practices 9 through 12 – deepens insights to achieve commitment and direction.
The key below concerns each item. Under each of the practices, we list key capacities to support developing that practice.
= Item with PRACTICE = Item without PRACTICE
This practice cultivates my attention so that I observe my experience – the perceptions, emotions, thoughts, and other causes, conditions, and contexts that influence me.
I react to events and circumstances, and I allow deadlines and tasks to determine my actions.
KEY CAPACITIES: Being Spacious and Grounded supports developing Awareness.
This practice honors my agreements as whole and complete, which affects my speaking, action, and livelihood to cultivate trust.
My fragmented attention and casual speaking create incongruences between my words and deeds, causing confusion, uncertainty, and distrust.
KEY CAPACITIES: Responsibility and Discipline support developing Integrity.
The practice of bringing conscious thought to the present moment. Being deliberate and responsible for my motivation, attitude, and direction manifests as mindful choosing, speaking, and action.
My reactions rest on sentimental wishes, wishful thinking, “well-meaning,” and my casual aims and heartfelt desires.
KEY CAPACITIES: Thoughts/thinking and Motivation support developing Intention.
With this practice, I freely take custody of my unified being – who I’ve been, who I am, and who I will become. My interactions reveal the possibility of being fully human.
My preoccupation with fitting in, adapting to norms, and my self-image guide my priorities, concerns, and actions.
KEY CAPACITIES: Openness and Responsibility support developing Authenticity.
5. INTENTIONAL SPEAKING.
This practice focuses awareness on weaving thought and meaning, bridging my intentions with reality. With this practice, I become a co-creator responsible for language that shapes meaning, action, and outcomes.
I react with habitual patterns such as gossip, idle speaking, hyperbole, or magical thinking to make myself feel better or impress others.
KEY CAPACITIES: Discipline and Motivation support developing Intentional Speaking.
I practice seeing things as they are. I recreate situations, receive concerns, and acknowledge situations from a background of possibilities.
My split attention leads to withholding, stepping over items, ignoring details, inaction, and taking shortcuts. I tolerate unnecessary missteps that require more time and energy.
KEY CAPACITIES: Surrender/Acceptance and Spaciousness/Openness support developing Completion.
7. DEEP LISTENING.
My practice of bare attention and receptive awareness allows things to be revealed — for me to be with others as they are and to receive their concerns fully.
I listen only for the information I need to manage my tasks and solve my problems.
KEY CAPACITIES: Discipline and Generosity support developing Deep Listening.
With my practice of devotional resolve – cognitively, emotionally, and volitionally – I find serene direction in surrendering to something larger than myself.
My life consists of obligations and perpetual, monotonous tasks that find me aimlessly drifting without direction.
KEY CAPACITIES: Motivation and Patience/Resolve support developing Commitment.
The practice of regular reflection focuses my awareness on deepening concentration below the surface to gain insight. With this practice, I can develop the openness to cultivate untapped possibilities and potential, gaining insight beyond daily activities and tasks.
I automatically react to events and tasks, skimming and scanning communications. I am unable to delve below surface thoughts or emotions for a sustained period.
KEY CAPACITIES: Openness and Introspection support developing Reflection.
With the practice of rigorous focus and attention, I can cut through noise and distractions to recognize small details. I can accurately tell the difference between similar things, and choose wisely among competing needs, concerns, and priorities to gain clarity.
My indecisiveness has made me unable to scrutinize, evaluate, or penetrate the morass of choices and distractions. I lack observational skills to prioritize or discriminate between items that appear similar and have become inattentive to the quality of my output.
KEY CAPACITIES: Insight and Understanding support developing Discernment.
This practice cultivates living in the question. We explore situations with ontological humility to view things as they appear, and cultivate an unlearning that suspends certainty. We remain open to others’ perceptions and perspectives and understand that any view is only part of a larger picture.
I reflexively seek out answers and solutions and stop questioning once I discover them.
KEY CAPACITIES: Openness and Questioning/Observing support developing Inquiry.
12. COMMUNITY AS CONTEXT.
This practice reveals what it is to be a person, as becoming a “self” happens in community. This practice expands my view of “self” as mutually dependent (interdependent) on causes and conditions. The self becomes a point of view that unifies the flow of experience into coherency.
I believe I am a discrete, fixed, and solid entity. I am an independent and individual identity to protect and defend.
KEY CAPACITIES: Generosity and Responsibility support developing Community as Context.