The journey of a lifetime
Congratulations! Taking refuge in the path is the beginning of a life long journey filled with moments of relief and bouts with doubt. Relief that there is a proven path that can bring an end of suffering. With the litany of practices and subtle obstacles from the ego, the doubt may show up in the how we skillfully go about in the transformative path.
Beyond meditation, the skillful means of Buddhism to transform one’s mind is vast. From loving kindness to tonglen, explore some of the more relevant practices in today’s world.
As the practice deepens, the fruition of the practice goes beyond the cushion. From our professional life to creative endeavors, the manifestation of wisdom and compassion can permanente in everything we do.
It’s not surprising gauging one’s own spiritual progress is challenging endeavor when the ego lurks in the back. Still, besides the inner maturity, the quality of our relationship with friends, family, strangers and coworkers can be a substanical tangible result.
Fruit of Practice
The fruition of practice is rarely some external grandiose manifestation. From the subtle joy of recognizing the precious human experience to the confidence in relating to suffering, the small glimpse into this inner transformation is rarely discussed.
Although always challenging from a modern lifestyle of not enough time and resources, the container of a retreat to deepen practice has a cornerstone of buddhist practice. To taste the depth of study and meditation that the retreat allows for is experientially tangible return in investment to the practice.
Although not necessary prominent across the different lineages, the teachings around death in Buddhism warrants attention considering how it can impact our way of living in the present and beyond.
Enlightenment. Nirvana. How does the Buddhist deal with this evolving concept over the course of their journey.
For even committed practitioners, there are obstacles that are more subtle as one progresses on the path.
Although considered a ‘foundational’ practice, ngondo is one of those rites of passage in Vajrayana Buddhism. With the challenge of doing this type of practice in the modern context, the engagement of this foundational practice sets the tone of advance practices later in the journey.
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.
My first year of high school I attended an independent Episcopalian school that required us to take a course teaching “world history” and “world literature” as seen through the lens of the religious traditions of the world. The course was constructed explicitly as a rite of passage, and the challenges were so intense that every one of us was transformed by the experience.
I became exposed to the dharma when I was dealing with chronic pain. I was required to meditate as part of my treatment, and at the time I couldn’t relax any of my muscles. But the meditation helped me learn to relax. My massage therapist told me it was as if I’d switched bodies. That change was so profound that I got curious about what else meditation could do for me.
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.
Geshe Denma Gyaltsen was born in the Dolpo region of northern Nepal. In 1981 his father brought him to Menri Monastery in India, regarded as the most important Bön monastery, to begin his program of study toward the Geshe degree.