Self Reporting as Practice 

As a weekly or twice-weekly practice, take some time to reflect on how you have been  practicing in your daily life: What conditions support mindfulness? What conditions or  situations make mindfulness difficult? What did you notice when you were mindful?  How might a Dharma perspective support you at times when practice is more difficult?  Does this inquiry prompt some questions that you might be interested in exploring further  in your daily life?  

The reflection itself is a practice. Essentially it is a form of “self reporting”, taking the  time to describe your practice to yourself as you might describe it to a teacher. This kind  of reflection is usually most helpful when we incline our contemplation towards our inner  experience, rather than the content of our experience. It can sometimes be helpful to  frame a report with a brief outline of the content, but keep most of the description of your  experience around how you felt, and worked with the experience. Generally it is not  necessary to bring in details about the content of the experience, about what people said  or did. 

For example, a reflection might look something like this:  

During the week, I found myself in a situation in which I spoke unskillfully. I was not  mindful at the time. Recalling the situation later, and being mindful during the  recollection, I noticed a feeling of embarrassment. As I stayed with the feeling of  embarrassment, I noticed a feeling of defensiveness, and I realized that defensiveness is  something that I experience quite a bit with this particular person. That sparked some  interest! A couple of questions came up for further exploration: 

How might I be able to stay connected with mindfulness when defensiveness  arises?
Does a defensive feeling incline me to speak unskillfully, either with this person,  or in general?  

Reflective practice can provide support for our daily life practice. Though this kind of  reflection, we begin to find our own questions that encourage investigation and interest in  our experience. In a sense, this practice helps us to become our own teacher. 

I would suggest that you take some time to write down a few notes about your  reflections. It doesn’t need to be detailed, or extensive journaling, just enough to jog  your memory about your reflection.