Advancing on the path

As one progresses further on the path, the potential for transformation expands both in nature and acceleration. While the practice may yield personal benefits, the essence of the Buddhist path transcends individual achievements. Deepening the practice extends into various aspects of life, from personal relationships to its integration into our professional endeavors. Whether through annual commitments to retreats or establishing a more ‘formal’ relationship with a teacher, the exploration of options offers diverse ways to hasten the transformation process. Recognizing the preciousness of human life and the finite nature of time, employing skillful means to accelerate our transformation for the benefit of others becomes the cornerstone of a robust Buddhist practice.

Deepening

In contemporary times, the entry point into Buddhism has become remarkably diverse compared to its initial introduction to the West. While the intellectual allure of Buddhism has attracted many armchair enthusiasts, the true power of Buddhism lies in its practice. Taking refuge in the three jewels of Buddhism doesn’t necessitate exclusivity from other traditions. However, it’s through deeper exploration that the richness of the practice unfolds.  

Learn how people deepen their practice

Other Practices

The depth of Buddhist practices surpasses mere meditation, encompassing a spectrum of activities from chanting to visualization. This diverse range of practices serves as a means to cultivate the qualities of wisdom and compassion, offering varied approaches tailored to the unique needs and preferences of individuals.

Learn about the diversity of other practices

Integration 

The proof of the practice extends beyond mere peace or intellectual realizations; it manifests in the way it is embodied in our daily experiences. Whether it’s the routine task of washing dishes or seamlessly integrating the practice into the professional workplace, its vitality becomes evident in our interactions with others. The essence of the practice comes to life in the nuanced and practical application within the fabric of our everyday lives.

Learn how the practice is integrated into daily life

Relationships

With the central tenet of nurturing wisdom and compassion within ourselves to benefit all others, it’s evident that the transformation of practitioners’ relationships takes center stage. As our spiritual maturity evolves, the quality of our relationships becomes a reflective mirror to that maturity.

Learn about the impact on relationships

Personal Adversity 

In addition to influencing our interpersonal relationships, the potency of teachings and practice manifests in how we navigate personal adversity. Whether grappling with addictions or facing the challenges of cancer, the transformative impact of the practice on such intense forms of suffering becomes a testament to our spiritual maturity.

Learn about how people manage personal adversities

Role of Teachers

The role of the teacher remains a highly debated subject in Western Buddhism. The influence of power structures and capitalist motivations has understandably led to a diminished perception of this role. However, it remains a topic worthy of exploration, particularly when contemplating the pace of our spiritual maturation and navigating the subtleties of the ego within the context of spiritual practice.

Learn about their role from the student’s perspective or what they have to say on the subject. 

Fruit of Practice

Profound transformations in lay practitioners may not always be overtly witnessed or discussed, yet they undeniably exist. Many individuals, while remaining modest about their spiritual maturity, occasionally reveal the depth of their transformation through the quiet confidence they exude.

Learn about what spiritual maturity may look like

Worldview

How does Buddhist philosophy and practices support the global challenges that we are facing ? From political polarization to climate change, understanding the nature of phenomena and having a sustainable personal response to these global challenges can make the difference between apathy and healthy engagement.

Learn how global issues are framed.  

Retreats

While perpetually challenging within the constraints of a modern lifestyle marked by insufficient time and resources, the concept of a retreat as a vessel to deepen one’s practice remains a cornerstone of Buddhist philosophy. The opportunity to delve into the profound realms of study and meditation that a retreat affords serves as a tangible and experiential return on investment for one’s spiritual practice.

Learn the importance of this container

Death and Reincarnation 

While not the most popular topic for contemplation, death and reincarnation are integral parts of the Buddhist canon. How practitioners navigate and engage with these subjects as part of their practice becomes a bridge that we all must cross. For many, discussing these matters within the context of the relative material world suffices. However, for others, delving into these subjects can represent the final and ultimate expression of their practice.

Learn about this important subject

Enlightenment

The concept of enlightenment in Buddhism often faces challenges in translation, especially in the context of the modern landscape. Frequently, contemporary terminology used by some teachers refers to true liberation in both the relative and ultimate senses. How practitioners engage with and grapple with this concept becomes a pivotal part of their journey, offering a glimpse into the profound possibilities that unfold within the realm of enlightenment.

Learn about the possibility

Practitioners with over 15 years of experience

2023-12-12T15:23:07+00:00

William

I'm a combat veteran, I work with veterans. I teach martial arts. I teach haiku. I'm the resident haiku poet at the Japanese Culture Center and the Labor Lay Buddhist chaplain at the Jesse Brown VA Hospital.

2023-12-31T20:21:52+00:00

Ben

In his reflections, Ben traces his journey of self-discovery and spiritual exploration. Raised in a Christian family, he found himself questioning traditional beliefs during his teenage years, particularly during confirmation. Drawn to the promise of a universal truth, Ben pursued science, studying material science and delving into quantum theory in graduate school. However, the complexity and lack of simplicity in scientific explanations left him unsatisfied. Amidst his intellectual quest, Ben encountered Buddhist philosophy, initially exploring connections between Buddhism and environmental science. A friend suggested he read Buddhist books, leading him to a profound connection with the teachings of the Buddha, especially through texts like "The Night on the Old Pathway." At around 23 or 24 years old, Ben officially identified as a Buddhist.

2023-12-29T17:51:27+00:00

Steven

Steven resides in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife and 13-year-old son, accompanied by a couple of cats. Despite a professional background in science education and media production, Steven now primarily fulfills the role of a house spouse, dedicating himself to supporting his family, Sangha community, and Dharma community. A digital artist and enthusiast of photography and outdoor activities, Steven finds joy in creating art and contributing to the beauty of the world. His commitment to fostering relationships and communities stems from a deep desire to bring more beauty into the world. However, he acknowledges the challenges he faced in establishing connections earlier in life, crediting his Dharma practice for helping align his aspirations with skills and abilities.

2023-12-27T21:29:08+00:00

Lisa

Lisa, currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee, originated from Florida and spent part of her youth in Atlanta before settling in Nashville. Discovering Buddhism at the age of 17 during a high school elective on Zen Buddhism, Lisa found solace in the teachings of impermanence, especially during a challenging period when she lost both parents at the age of 16.

2023-12-29T16:28:38+00:00

Shinge Roshi

Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi is abbot of the Zen Studies Society’s mountain monastery, Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji, and New York City temple, New York Zendo Shobo-ji, and is also abbot of the Zen Center of Syracuse Hoen-ji in Syracuse, NY.

2023-12-29T15:58:25+00:00

Gareth

Gareth, a man raised in the UK with a Christian background, found himself questioning traditional beliefs as he delved into his career as a mergers and acquisitions professional. The turning point came when he, engrossed in work, realized he was missing out on the important moments with his family. This realization prompted a spiritual journey that led him to embrace the big bang and evolution as his personal “religion.”

2023-12-14T22:27:46+00:00

Alex M

Growing up, my mother would take my brother and I to Chinese Buddhist Temples scattered around the Bay Area on a very sporadic basis. Usually, just a few times a hour, if that. I wouldn’t say that I was introduced to the dharma per se then, but it does have a place in the memories of my childhood as an introduction to traditions and ritual.

2023-12-12T22:25:36+00:00

Jude and Emma

I remember seeing Buddhist images on trips to India with my family. Seeing Zen images associated with martial arts, I started when I was 7.

2023-11-27T13:20:17+00:00

Joann

I’m the Buddhist chaplain at Syracuse University. Which is an amazing thing for me, because I came here as a student when I was 18, and this is where I learned about Buddhism and got interested in Buddhism. And then to come back much later in my life after I retired from a job teaching in the city schools here to to return to the very place that I used to hang out all the time.