This is a practice from my latest book: “Leap Before You Look.” This practice is chosen from the section “Community Practices.”

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Meet on a regular basis with a group of friends who care about you,
And who care as much as you do about living translucently.
Make a commitment to support each other
In leaping out of the confines of old habit.
We all have our arenas where we are already transparent and flowing,
Where the divine gushes through us free of restriction.
And we all have our arenas of opacity,
Where we block the flow.
Be a support to each other.
Each person will have five to ten minutes to ask for support
In living more translucently.
That person will share where they feel blocked and restricted.
Then the whole group will decide
By unanimous consent
On a practice or several practices from this book
That person will do regularly till the next meeting.
Everyone must agree, including the one who is to do the practice.
Everyone should have a turn in the hot seat.

Choosing the right practice is a very delicate art. You can go to a teacher, but odds are that the better and deeper a teacher is, the more he or she will be in demand, and the less time there will be to focus on your needs. You can try to self-prescribe practices, but often you are the last person on the whole planet you should be asking for advice. Why?  Because we tend to choose out of our existing imbalance. A shy and retiring person will most likely read this book and feel attracted to the practices in the insight and meditation sections, practices that are easy to do alone, and so become even more imbalanced. A heady and intellectual person (just like me…) will likely revel in the insight section, but skip over the body practices altogether, and so become more imbalanced. An outgoing and gregarious party-animal will love this section on community, or the practices involving other people, but stay clear of meditation, and so possibly avoid going inside him or herself even more.

Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh said recently, ”These days, the sangha [spiritual community] is the Buddha.” Many other people share this view: that the enlightened messiah who has come to save humanity today is not a person but a collective awakening—the most reliable teacher is friends meeting friends. When you find a group of friends who care about the truth, who care about each other, and who share a similar depth of maturity and humor about themselves and each other, you have found your sangha. Value it deeply, it is the boat that will safely carry you across the swamps of imagined separation. Give yourself completely to such a gathering, and follow faithfully the guidance that they offer in consensus. This will be the best way to get value from this book.

You can discover 72 practices like this in Leap Before You Look.  Buy it now from our new online store at a discounted price.

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