By: Vince Horn
Spontaneous Practice is the result of a strong intention and dedicated application to the principles and practices of meditation. But oddly, while it’s happening, it doesn’t require any discernable effort from us. During these moments, instead of us doing the meditation we find the meditation is doing us. These are the moments where practice is effortless, where the whole idea of practice dissolves into whatever is happening.
This is really beautiful when it’s happens! And it’s not something we can make happen, because if we’re making it happen then it’s a formal practice or a life practice, it’s something that we’re intentionally doing. When it happens by itself this is spontaneous practice.
Now, the power and promise of meditation is that these moments of spontaneity start to increase, to happen more of the time, to the point where they become part of a new baseline. They become part of who and what we are. At this point you could say that there isn’t even spontaneous practice happening anymore. When there’s no more need for a certain emphasis in our practice, we can broaden our scope, focus on some other aspect of experience that needs attention, train in this new style formally, integrating it into our life, and eventually encoding it into the core operating system of reality. When it becomes so deeply integrated that we don’t even notice it, that’s when the practice has reached completion. It also marks the beginning of a new phase of practice, where we become a beginner once again.