Lisa

Lisa emphasizes the foundational importance of daily sitting in deepening one’s spiritual practice, encouraging a commitment to at least 30 minutes to reach a sweet spot of settling and insight. The metaphorical “legs” of the practice, as she terms it, include cultivating connections with the sangha, emphasizing the significance of spiritual companionship beyond mere self-improvement.

Lisa advocates for diverse engagements with the sangha, from day-long and half-day retreats to regular classes. She suggests at least a couple of meditational retreats annually for those deeply committed to the path. At One Darval, the focus is on providing opportunities and space for individuals to cultivate their practice, acknowledging varying levels of commitment and creating accessibility through low-cost scholarship spots.

The ethos is to offer support in various forms, recognizing that people have different temperaments and abilities to commit. Lisa’s approach is to provide a comprehensive foundation for spiritual growth, ensuring that resources and means are available to anyone willing to embark on the path.

 

Lennell

Lanell, an eternal student with a background in clinical psychology, embraced the opportunity to attend the One Buddhism Institute. Despite her comfort in academic settings, she initially resisted the practical aspects of the program, particularly the emphasis on meditation and mindfulness in daily life. The teachings urged her to engage in meditative practices, journaling, and mindfulness to cultivate the spirit, emphasizing the importance of sitting on the cushion as a transformative process.

Over time, Lanell recognized the value of these practices in improving the quality of her interactions and overall life. Wanting to live without regrets and desiring more harmonious relationships, she committed to incorporating Buddhist practices into her daily routine. As a professor, Lanell introduced these practices to her students, encouraging them to apply mindfulness to both outer and inner aspects of their lives. She devised assignments, such as expressing gratitude and reflecting on daily actions, to instill practical application alongside theoretical learning in her classes. Lanell aimed to make the practical aspect just as crucial as theoretical understanding, fostering a holistic approach to education.

Jackie

Jackie shares insights into her diverse approach to daily practice, acknowledging its variability based on her feelings and schedule. While her routine fluctuates between periods of consistent practice and intervals with none, Jackie highlights the importance of finding a routine that works for each individual. She recommends dedicating even just 10 minutes every day to maintain a disciplined daily practice.

In the past, Jackie incorporated practices like walking her dogs, singing daily prayers, and engaging in sore long exercises on her porch. Her day concluded with a 10-15 minute meditation, always followed by a dedication of merit to all sentient beings. However, life’s disruptions and lack of discipline can pose challenges to maintaining consistency.

Jackie reveals that after teachings or retreats, she tends to follow the specific practices learned during those events. The Bompard tenets and the principles of the one tradition continually influence her decision-making process, guiding her actions to align with the ethical framework of the tradition.

Beyond formal cushion practice, Jackie integrates the BUN tradition into her daily life by considering its ethics and principles throughout the day. Currently, she’s exploring Tibetan yoga (trul khor) and dedicates her day in the morning and reviews it at night, incorporating the recommended purification mantra.

Regarding the selection of daily practices, Jackie discusses the challenge of having numerous options. She suggests intuitively choosing practices that resonate and attract, emphasizing the importance of practicing them consistently until they become a part of oneself. Tenzin Mango Rinpoche’s advice to let go of teachings that don’t resonate is echoed, encouraging practitioners to focus on what feels meaningful to them. Jackie emphasizes the need to gain depth in a practice rather than sampling a buffet of traditions or practices, promoting a more profound connection with the chosen path.

Grace

Grace describes Won Buddhism’s practice as “timeless and placeless” meditation, extending beyond formal settings to every moment and place. The practice involves a rational and logical path, referred to as training, emphasizing repetition from morning to night. The three-fold practice includes cultivating the spirit through morning meditation or chanting, concentration in action during the day, and evening reflection through chanting or journaling.

She emphasizes the importance of self-inquiry, inquiring into human affairs and universal principles, and making conscious choices in action throughout the day. Grace highlights the cyclical nature of the practice, involving morning preparation, daytime focus, and evening reflection, creating a continuous cycle of self-improvement.

Won Buddhism’s approach integrates self-power and other power, recognizing dependence on external elements and expressing gratitude through prayer. Grace stresses the interconnection of self and other power, applying this awareness to actions like treating nature with respect and expressing gratitude to fellow beings.

She encourages patience, likening the practice to building mental muscles, and emphasizes the need for consistency and dedication. Grace underscores the significance of a spiritual vow, a personal “why,” reflecting on her own vow to reach Buddhahood and support others on the same path. She shares her teacher’s perspective that purifying the mind on the cushion purifies the universe, emphasizing the interconnectedness of individual actions and their impact on the whole.