Regardless of what you choose to believe or practice there is one saying that I feel we all can apply in our journey: Make it beautiful. Just that small suggestion can change the way life echos through you and uplifted your experience.

I’m talking about making your practice beautiful from an internal place and allowing your days to come from that place inside where limitless, unconditional love resides. We’ve all got that place in there somewhere, even if it is hiding behind irrational thoughts, fears, and phobias. For me, learning how to practice from this place is essential.

So I repeat – Make it beautiful. There are times when simply repeating those words at the start of a practice can encourage a more internal and connected experience. There are, of course, also times that we may need a little more than just words. So here are a few ways I set the scene for a beautiful, connected experience in life.

Here are a few ways to assist in making beautiful:

I like to create a clean and uncluttered space that supports an internal gaze. Sometimes I like to immerse myself in my work, my writing and my walks. When I’m at home, I have a little zen space with a Buddha statue, paintings I enjoy and scents that bring me physically into my space.

Dedicate yourself to the concept of Namaste – I bow to the light in you, you bow to the light in me, and when we are both connected to that place of light, we are as one. As a bonus, it’s incredibly uplifting to the person practicing! You might dedicate your practice to someone you care for deeply or perhaps to someone in your life who needs a little extra love. You might even dedicate it to someone you’ve had some recent conflict with. The work required for this dedication will always be rewarded in ways both large and small.

I like to think of the Hrdayakasha (heart space) as the place where that beautiful well of unconditional love resides. By simply holding your gaze at the space of the heart, you encourage energy to flow from there. This creates a softness that starts to infiltrate your life.

Since the very first moment my buddhist practice (what’s yours?) entered my life, it has been an incredibly uplifting, sacred, and beautiful practice. I’ve seen it transform countless lives as it has done my own. Your own practice can help others realize that our essential nature is love.

I know, it’s not always fluffy white clouds and unicorns, and sometimes our practice can stir things up and rattle our cage. But I find that in every practice, even those challenging times where ego takes over and creates a tiresome negative internal dialogue, we can actually quiet that dialogue by reaching for that beautiful inner place.

Peace and Love, Jim

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