Just do your best. This is the whole of practice, the whole of our life. All sorts of chatter comes up in the midst of the circumstances of our life. Something breaks, we clean it up or fix it up. Or we can start chattering about, “Why does this happen to me? Oh, I always do this. What am I going to do? What does this mean?” We all know the consequences of that. After speaking with someone, do we continue holding on to the discussion with “internal” chatter, like, “Why did they say that to me? It’s not fair.” If that chatter—habits of reactions, habits of thoughts and emotions—arises, then right there in the noticed chatter is our practice. Just be chatter in the midst of doing, and allow chatter to pass. Bodily experience this.

Some people respond, “Well, is my best good enough? I’m not sure if I’m doing my best. Am I just doing it?” These are considerations. If those doubts come up, fine. Don’t deny that they are there. Throw those into your practice. Let that be the fuel to nourish doing. Just doing, including the thoughts. Just doing, so that thoughts don’t keep you up in your head, stuck in judgments about, fears about, chatter about. Realize and taste this.

You have to do this life practice because only you can do it. No one else can do this for you. Someone said to me, “You do it for me.” No one can do it for you. You can have all sorts of supports, encouragement, even prodding and poking, but still this practice effort is yours to do.

What is this? This is just your life. So you do your part, and the rest is clear. It is clear because there has never been anything lacking, despite any beliefs you might have, despite any ideas you might have. There has never been anything lacking.

Adapted from Everything Is the Way by Elihu Genmyo Smith © 2012. Reprinted with permission of Shambhala Publications.

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