Manual The Day of a Buddhist Practitioner

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In the Theravada tradition this also includes going for daily alms. Try to make use of free time to study the Dharma. You can also practice sutra calligraphy if that exist in your tradition but that is more time consuming.

I try to make sure I follow one curiosity a day regarding the dharma. Then I make sure 3 times a day I sit outside and take it all in. I close my eyes and try to hear the furthest sounds that I can all the way back to the closest and identify them. Then the smells followed by the sensations on my skin.

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I offer this because so often we sacrifice the enjoyment around us for more order. For this reason I often purposefully shun order and focus on enjoying the world around me as it comes. It could be cold, or raining, or noisy, or smelly. Yet I enjoy the sensations. The simplicity and innocence. Order and discipline certainly have their place, but dont forget to schedule or not even schedule some disorder and simple pleasures.

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Viewed times. Crab Bucket Throughout the day continue to maintain and develop the 10 skillful deeds. Do share your routine once you have compiled it. Kaveenga Wijayasekara Kaveenga Wijayasekara 1, 6 6 silver badges 13 13 bronze badges. So I would suggest the following schedule: Morning Morning meditation Morning chants Lunch Lunch break meditation Evening Evening meditation Evening chants Try to make use of free time to study the Dharma.

This concern in turn seems to be a by-product of the Abhidharma attempt to systematize the teachings of the recently deceased Buddha into a coherent whole by providing a complete map of the Dharma. Such an attempt naturally focuses on a single moment of experience, simply because it would be considerably more challenging to try to do so for a changing process over a longer period of time.

Spiritual and Practical Support for Buddhists at the Threshold of Death

In such a context, this is indeed a skilful means. The same does not hold, however, for Buddhist meditation practices based on different doctrinal foundations. In the case of early Buddhist thought, for example, mindfulness as well as consciousness are seen as conditioned and impermanent. From the viewpoint of early Buddhist thought, mindfulness cannot be considered a constantly present property of the mind that just needs to be recognized.

Recognizing this impermanence was part of the insight that reportedly led the Buddha to awakening Bodhi Taken together, they would not leave room for positing a seventh or eighth consciousness in addition to the six types of consciousness related to the senses, all of which are of a changing nature. For a practitioner operating within an early Buddhist doctrinal framework, the notion that there is a constantly present form of awareness that needs to be recognized and which equals the liberated mind would therefore not be a skilful means.

Such a notion runs contrary to the thrust of early Buddhist insight practice, which is to see that all aspects of personal experience are subject to the law of impermanence.

What is Buddhism?

Neither of the two practice traditions, therefore, would benefit from simply taking over a construct of mindfulness wholesale from the other. Nevertheless, this does not mean that practitioners of early Buddhist meditation cannot benefit from an exposure to aspects of the Great Perfection. In particular, it would need to be accompanied by an understanding that the form of awareness experienced is itself impermanent.

For practitioners of the Great Perfection, it could similarly be beneficial to engage in certain aspects of a mindfulness practice that involves the use of concepts and labels. Such labeling can come in handy during preliminary stages of meditation before one becomes proficient in just resting in natural awareness. Nevertheless, such use of labels needs to be left behind as soon as it has fulfilled its preparatory purpose in order to be able to rest in a non-dual form of awareness that is completely free from any concepts.

What all this boils down to, then, is the need to contextualize skilful means.

Day 1 - The Path to Enlightenment

The basic recognition that the variety of Buddhist teachings on mindfulness and on other aspects of the Dharma are different forms of skilful means can lay a solid foundation for mutual respect among Buddhist practitioners and help to avoid any tendency toward dogmatic factionalism. Once this foundation is securely in place, in the present setting in the West a further step can be taken. This step, informed by academic research into the history of Buddhist philosophy and practice, sees all of these skilful means as products of a particular historical and cultural setting.

What is Buddhism?

For those who choose to practice within the framework of the particular tradition out of whose historical and cultural setting they originally arose, these practices are skilful means. These practices and concepts, however, do not automatically assume the same function when transposed into a different setting. Whereas their basic status as skilful means should never be denied, for them to perform this function requires clear recognition of the setting within which each practice can fulfill its full potential.

The vision that emerges from this brief excursion into various understandings of mindfulness can fruitfully be applied to other aspects of the Dharma, nowadays available in such a broad variety of manifestations in the West. None of these manifestations can lay claim to being the only right and correct interpretation. At the same time, it is also not possible to pretend that all manifestations offer equally right and correct interpretations in any situation or context. Instead, these often divergent, and at times even contradictory, interpretations are correct within a specific context only.

For the evolving Dharma in the West, the knowledge available from academic research into the history of Buddhism could become the basis for constructing a comprehensive vision capable of holding the different Buddhist traditions. Acquaintance with a basic outline of the history of Buddhist philosophy as reconstructed by academics in the field of Buddhist studies can provide a helpful framework for Dharma teachers and practitioners.

Such a historical outline can make it possible for practitioners to locate their personal practices within a meaningful overarching framework that, in line with a central Buddhist dictum, is as much as possible in accordance with reality.