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

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. Hear from teacher's view. Role of Teachers Hear from student's perspectives. GARETH Amber Grace

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.  

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. Read, watch and see the visuals Retreats Watch the highlights Jogen Mark Jackie

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

2024-06-06T20:33:36+00:00

Z

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.

2024-06-06T19:05:42+00:00

Lama Thupten Rinpoche

Lama Thupten was always drawn to meditative practices, even before they were formally defined as such. He lived in many places throughout his life, but one of the most significant was Selma, Alabama. Thupten witnessed the brutality of racism firsthand, but he also found solace in nature and solitude. Even as a child, he spent a lot of time alone, observing the world around him. 

2024-06-05T14:09:47+00:00

Phyllis

I was first introduced to Eastern philosophy when I was about 15. At 16 I read Hesse’s book, “Siddhartha”, and thought, “Ok, I’m the Buddha!” I began to explore yoga at that age, and it was a time of many eastern ways of being introduced into our culture.

2024-06-02T00:59:59+00:00

Pema

Pema resides in Madison, Wisconsin, and is an integral part of Joyful Path Meditation and Healing Center, affiliated with the White Conch Dharma Center. Engaged in both lay and monastic practices, Pema plays diverse roles within the organization, serving as a chaplain, Dharma teacher in training, and a listener for spiritual queries.

2024-06-06T19:11:42+00:00

Albert

Albert recalls his first experience walking into the Buddhist Temple of Chicago, describing the imposing yet intricately designed doors that symbolized the beginning of his journey. Upon entering, he was struck by the diverse and down-to-earth community, challenging his expectations of a predominantly Asian congregation. The fact that the reverend was a female resonated with Albert, emphasizing the equal respect in Buddhism. Curiosity led Albert to explore the temple's teachings, appreciating the absence of emotional manipulation and the focus on understanding oneself and fostering interconnectedness. The chants, like the golden chain, and the absence of labels provided a liberating experience. Albert delved into Buddhism's varied forms, including Pure Land Buddhism, which allowed him the freedom to be himself and practice responsibility without conforming to specific rules.

2024-06-02T17:30:21+00:00

Bruce

I would go to bookstores and actually the first book a guy recommended to me was, um, Sex, Spirituality and Ecology by Ken Wilber. And it's a thick, rough going read, right? But I dove into it and it just kind of really opened me up and I thought, okay, I'm going to go further. And I started reading other stuff of his and of course he talks about Buddhism and the relative and the absolute and, you know, these kind of things in there. And one thing led to another. I picked up a book by showing him Trungpa, uh, spiritual materialism, I think it was. And I read two or three of his others, uh, and then I found a book by Sylvia and became the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and which is written in even more plain English than Trump was even.

2024-06-05T13:54:30+00:00

Linda

Retired Lawyer from Portland, OR. In the fall of 2004, a friend asked me to attend with him and I did. The first time I went, I knew I would return. Not sure I would call that experience knowing this was the path for me; what I knew at that point was that being able to stop talking, to be away from being an “expert”.

2024-06-02T17:39:29+00:00

Sensei Michael

And I was known for talking people down from bad trips and things of that nature. And he said, Oh, I don’t do that anymore. I just do Zen. Okay, well, that’s interesting. What’s that all about? And so I said, Well, I’m going this weekend. Why don’t you come with me? So that weekend I went with him to the temple on Halsted Street near Fullerton, on the North side of Chicago. I met Matsuoka Roshi, who became my teacher, so I sort of backed into that. Like everything else, I think I’d read maybe a book on Zen or to not not much.

2024-06-04T15:15:12+00:00

Willy and Kim

My first exposure to Buddhism wasn’t significant. In fact, it was a turn off. A man who claimed to be Buddhist visited our high school and basically told our class his goal was to become a heartless robot. Well, not entirely, but pretty much… There wasn’t any joy.