1.14 And is firmly rooted over a long time of continuous, wholehearted and sincere action.
Remember that anything you practice will become firmly established, even what you practice unconsciously. Also, remember that nothing meaningful happens overnight. Everything in nature develops organically at a pace that is sustainable and manageable. This verse reminds you that realizing your meaningful intention will not happen automatically because an intention not acted upon is just an idea. If your intention is dear to you, it deserves your best effort. Once you plant your intention in your space of awareness, you nurture it through your actions. Acting from your heart and with love will in itself provide sustenance for the journey. Presence is always available and the practice of moving towards presence is continuous. You move towards presence because you know it is a wise way to live your life. Practice, abhyasa, can be considered something done with the attitude of a ritual, stepping outside your habitual mindset to participate in something that is meaningful to you. Consistent practice has the capacity to transform you.
If it seems that there is not enough time to do all that you want to do, consider examining your priorities. What deserves your time and energy? How are you honoring what is truly important to you? How are you ensuring that your practice is important enough for you to dedicate your presence to it? As one of the teachers who came from India to the West, Swami Rama, pointed out, once your intention is clear then you can reinforce your desire to move in that direction by reminding yourself: “I need to do this, I can do this, I want to do this, I will do this.”
Other obstacles on your way may be some patterns in your posture and actions, at the physical, mental or emotional level. You can use a simple method to invite presence : Pause and feel what is happening, validate what you are sensing and then clarify in order to choose the most intelligent and wholehearted action. Then, notice the effects. When you remember that there is only one time, here and now, you can enter the practice from a mindset of having infinite time, so that instead of rushing from one task to the next, you attend to what is happening right where you are. Remember, this moment is the culmination of your life and the portal into the rest of your life. Navigating this moment successfully will bring you into the next moment without agitation.
This is a lifelong journey. Developing any habit starts one step at a time. You will find that the more you commit to your meaningful intention, the more it makes sense to keep practicing, one moment at a time, one breath at a time. At some point you look back and realize how far you have traveled and how you have been getting better at regulating your physical, mental and emotional tendencies so that they are less of a hindrance and more of a support to your goal.
Some of the questions that can be valuable include: Do my actions reflect my intention? Am I acting with joyful curiosity or with ambition? What are the qualities of my actions? Are my actions validated by true knowledge? Since it is probable you will get distracted, for an instant, a few minutes, hours, days, months or years; remember to keep returning to your intention without strain, struggle or self-judgment and with a gentle smile.
As usual, one more way of exploring the meaning of this sutra is by chanting it.
You can choose to chant it in its traditional form with all the words coming together:
स तु दीर्घकाल नैरन्तर्य सत्कारासेवितो दृढभूमिः ॥१४॥
sa tu dīrghakāla nairantarya satkārāsevito dṛḍhabhūmiḥ
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually: