Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Buddhism in a nutshell.

How do you orient to your practice? 

A lot of times we think of our practice as being one part of our day, like when we are meditating or doing yoga.  Practice in that sense is rather isolated and we can struggle with how to bring that practice into the rest of our day. 

Buddhist's tend to think of their practice in terms of view, meditation and conduct.


Your view is how you see the world.  What is your relationship to the world?  How do you understand yourself and the world around you?  How does your perception influence your experience?  Is your view based on the truth or is it based on assumptions and bias?


Meditation is based on the view.  We stabilize our understanding and experience of the view.  We familiarize ourselves to seeing clearly and eliminate distortion in our lens.  We cultivate mental states that are beneficial like compassion, and learn to let go of mental states like anger and anxiety that bring us suffering.


Conduct is how we bring the view that we have cultivated in meditation into the world.  What posture do these teachings embody?  How do we walk through our day?  How does our view and meditation benefit our family and community?  What does your view look like in action?

Using this triad of view, meditation and conduct, you can develop a complete practice that includes all aspects of your life.  You can clarify your view through study, contemplation and seeking out teachings.  You can deepen your practice of meditation by receiving further instruction or going on meditation retreats.  You can share the fruits of your practice in the communities in which you live and work. 

Clarify your view.
Deepen your meditation.
Share the fruit.

That's the practice of the Buddha's teachings in a nutshell. 

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