Excerpt About Spiritual Practice

Inner Practice is Not Boot Camp
Inner practice is not boot camp. Boldness doesn’t mean pushing ourselves. It doesn’t demand that we jam ourselves into a particular place. The balanced combination of strength and kindness that we have been describing shows us that what we want to develop over time in our practice is a kind of bold vulnerability in which we’re kind and strong and courageous. Sometimes the kindness is more in the foreground. Sometimes the boldness is in the foreground. The boldness continues to be a courageous strength and adventurousness without becoming foolhardy, without becoming harsh. We’re not pushing ourselves, saying, “Okay, you wimp, why don’t you just move into this?” That’s not what I mean by being courageous. So that’s when the kindness is important. Kindness has attunement, a recognition of exactly where we are. And if we have strength as well, we will naturally allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be open to what’s arising and allow ourselves to be there and in the moment—whatever it is.

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