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That is good question @lobster
I say that because it is actually something I have been thinking about myself the past few weeks. However I was asking the question of myself more from the perspective of should I adopt a set pattern / practice and what that practice would be and why.
I continue to read, listen, and take in all the teachings I can. Along the way I have come across a few things that have really stood out to me, and I try to learn more about those teachings and how I can apply them to my personal practice.
What I have been doing consistently is following the 5 precepts. I would like to follow the 8 precepts, but being married with kids makes that harder. I would like to be more consistent with my meditation (time of day) and duration. I suspect that if and when I settle on a specific teaching, that the later might come a bit more naturally.
While I may be one of the newer members, I view these pages as a sort of virtual Sangha. I treat the discussions the same way I would if I was talking to a person face to face, honestly, and sincerely.
When I have posted questions or thoughts, they have been honest thoughts and questions. I value the input I receive. I in fact spend a good amount of time reading and re-reading my posts prior to actually posting because I think sometimes intent can get lost in text and often times emotion can be read into text where it does not exist.
That being said, in my life I practice being honest in all things I say and avoid hearsay and exaggeration. I try to make sure that the things I do and say are never hurtful or sarcastic (sometimes I can be), and I try to be mindful. In a recent Lojong teaching that was given to me, a point that stuck out was how our words have power and can affect not only my mental state, but those of the people I talk to. For example saying “I hate it when you do…..” has a negative effect vs. changing your words to be “I love it when you do not do…”. So with that in mind I have been working on being mindful of my thoughts, and words to be of a more positive nature. I practice this in my daily life.
When I realized that Buddhism was my path I made a commitment to myself. It has always been very personal for me. It was not something that I announced to the world per say, but what I have found is that as time has gone on my close friends and family have noticed a change in demeanor, outlook and attitude. When asked I simply say I have been actively practicing Buddhism, and if they want to know more I tell them. As I have gotten more serious in my practice over time, my daughters have been more curious about what dad is doing and why he is doing it (In fact, I recently posted asking for advice).
I recently have been making room for a small alter / meditation area in my house and my daughters were very happy to gift me with an “om mani padme hum” banner that they won at a fundraiser at the center where I practice! I was very touched by the gesture.
Picture of me, my girls and the resident monk Geshe Lobsang Chophel at the event.
Falling asleep on the couch in the middle of weekend afternoon watching The History Channel..
I did this last night on my phone. The artwork isn't mine only the coloring is.
It has been a nice and windy day, been spending time outside and just being in the present moment feeling the wind on my face. Living in the now, no thought of anything but the wind on my face.