Trying Something New? Try Bite-sized Pieces
When Lama Tsomo was asked how she tackled the prodigious task of learning Tibetan, she had this to say. (The parallel to starting a meditation practice may surprise you!)
“The first thing I did was give up. I was in my 40s when I started studying and I thought, ‘This is a really hard language to learn! I’m in my 40s, I’m not going to be able to live in Tibet, there’s no way I can learn this. There’s a different alphabet, the sounds are different, there’s no way.’ So I gave up. And it turns out that was a really good first thing to do.
Why, you ask? Because a lot of people, myself included, set their goals so high that they can’t even reach it. So I started by giving up, and then I thought, ‘You know, I’d love to be able to communicate with my Tibetan teachers, even if it’s just a little bit, a few words, even if it’s just asking ‘What’s for dinner?’ or ‘What’s the weather?’ or something like that. And not go through another person but just communicate directly.’ So the first thing is, take bite-sized pieces.
The second thing was to do it every day. You need it a little bit of instruction to get some of the basics of the structure of the language and alphabet and that kind of thing. But then you need just need to do it, even a little bit, but every day. The everyday-ness is key.
The last thing – total immersion, once in awhile. So I couldn’t do it all the time, but total immersion once in awhile turns out to be a key thing. We all know this with languages. And it’s about setting pathways and then really making them into highways, that kind of thing. So if you do that all day every day, then transformation can happen.”
So, the key steps for Lama Tsomo were: guided instruction with bite-sized pieces, everyday practice, and occasional dedicated total immersion. Sound familiar? Our website offers easy to follow, short guided meditations to support your everyday practice.