The Three Pillars
In living the life of practice I feel that there are three basic necessities, often referred to in Zen practice as "The Three Pillars." They, in my perception include study, the Sangha,or community and practice itself.
The first of these, study, includes the consistent habit of reading materials that are focused in meditation, stress reduction, or inspiration. It can also include at times biographies or anything that inspires you. It is important to occasionally return to elements that focus on mediation and stress reduction technique, but do not discount the power of that which inspires. My experience has indicated that it is far more likely to go from an inspired mind to a calm one. A little consistently is more important than a lot occasionally. Even a sentence a day can make a great difference.
The Sangha, or spiritual community is also of prime importance. By this I mean a group or even an individual you meet with on a weekly or biweekly basis. Combining with others and doing practice as well as discussing its effects is crucial. Even if this occurs at a distance it is very impactful. Your companions on this path will help to keep you connected, and you will help them. The combined energy of this group is more powerful than the sum of the individuals.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly is the life of practice itself. There is no substitute for putting the time in. Again, this does not have to be a great investment of time. Like study, a little consistently is more important than gorging yourself with practice once in a while. Even taking two minutes a day to pay attention to all that you can will change your life.
Activate the three pillars, and step into the magic of your life!