Focused, repetitive, and mindful exercise, the foundation of any spiritual path, makes us masters of ourselves while moving us toward mastery of a discipline, even as total mastery continuously recedes, just beyond our grasp. Within ourselves we experience the changes we’ve slowly, meticulously crafted. Practice stresses the difference between knowing about something and understanding something. We understand our chosen discipline to the extent we’ve developed our bodies, minds, and emotions through that discipline. Developing mastery through practice does not lead to superiority or a “higher” level of existence, but it does teach humility and provide understanding of oneself, an understanding of one’s discipline, an experiential sense of the truth of human abilities, and a foundation from which to claim one’s space in the world.
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