“What is Practice?
By A Monkess
Most think that daily commitments, rituals, pujas and teachings are our main practice. And they are certainly crucial so it’s a real blessing to be able to participate in these whenever possible.
But we’ve all heard the story of the man doing many prostrations being told “very good but much better to practice”; then it goes onto reciting prayers, making light offerings etc. Each time he was advised “but better to do practice”.
“If you are suffering, use it as the cause to bring happiness to others. This way, whatever kind of life experience you have, you use it on the path. There is no interruption to Dharma practice and one’s life is most beneficial.” Lama Zopa Rinpoche
So what is “practice”? Especially in this troubled time where people are not able to attend their gompa/centre to participate in pujas or teaching, to connect with community. Sure there are
plenty of teachings online but not all are tech savvy and many are easily distracted by surrounding familiarity such as family, domestics and all the woes that surfaces during this overwhelming pandemic time.
In my humble experience pure practice is transforming our current life situations into our practice, living the Dharma daily. Watching the evasive suffering, knowing it’s samsara but not being overwhelmed… transforming it into Bodhicitta practice.
Our family is demanding, dependent and exhausting so they are our teachers. Everything has become uncertain. Health and finances are fragile. Fear and bigotry is rapidly increasing. All this is our practice.
Find more constructive solutions, unique ways to support the people and situations that we encounter. Sharing the loving concern that’s been sadly neglected during the intensity of this daunting time.
We need to become good listeners, caring friends and neighbours. This really is the time to use our principles and practices, to become the calm rock for others. To focus on our daily encounters KNOWing that they are indeed our practice!