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What do you practice?

JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

I'm just curious what everyone practices here.

I started off Zen when I was a dumb teenager then found Theravada later in life and practiced breath meditation and vipassana. Now I still have a love for Theravada and study it but also study and practice the Tibetan Mahayana traditions. When I study Je Tsongkhapa's Lamrim Chenmo it's clear to me that all the practices of Theravada are the root of even the Mahayana path.

There came a point a couple years ago when I decided to hop on the Mahayana path. The reason? Let's say that samsara is a burning building. I could practice only Theravada and escape alone or I could practice to help everyone escape. I would never leave my beloved wife, pets, friends, family, or even enemies behind in a burning building. So I also practice lojong, mantras, purifying, and receiving blessings.

In a nutshell, my practice has 5 goals:

  1. Accumulate Merit
  2. Purify Negative Karma
  3. Accumulate Wisdom
  4. Receive Blessings
  5. Cultivate Bodhichitta

So my practice session is always being altered but it looks something like this:

Merit Multiplying Mantras
Set Bodhichitta Intention
Om Mani Padme Hum
Medicine Buddha Mantra
Manjushri Mantra
Space-Like Meditative Equipoise On Emptiness
Meditation On Death and Impermanence
Meditation On Everything Being Like A Dream
Migtsema
Dedicate Merit To The Enlightenment Of All Beings

If I don't have much time or if I'm feeling lazy, I'll do one or two of these things. I like to practice meditating while I'm lying in bed at night and when I wake up in the morning and I won't go through this whole session. I might just meditate on emptiness and impermanence with Bodhichitta intention, for example. Or I might just lay there and recite Migtsema or Om Mani Padme Hum. Or I might just watch my thoughts and feelings and know they're impermanent and not self, doing my best to keep desire from arising, not clinging to any of them.

Shoshinlobster

Comments

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited January 31

    I use Theravada for studying and reading, and Zen techniques for meditation ( Raking is my jam! ) and Secular stuff to help me relate to others in everyday life.

    ShoshinJaySonperson
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 31

    I meditate, read, and watch videos. Most of what I read or watch is stuff produced by the sangha I am part of electronically. Sometimes read other books or articles or things. The meditation I do is informed by the sangha's teachings. I do a refuge prayer and awakening bodhicitta prayer in the morning in the shower.

    And then in my life I try to be kind and mindful and things like that. I observe the precepts pretty well aside from sometimes having a beer with dinner. (Well at least I'm not breaking the fourth and lying about that).

    I have not formally taken refuge or the precepts or bodhisattva vows. I think I might do refuge in the spring electronically with my sangha if the opportunity comes.

    JaySonVastmind
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I do what I can, when I can, how I can, the best I can. I am a gloriously successful failure at establishing a routine, but so far, I'm doing ok.

    JaySonVastmindKundo
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    I meditate, read, and watch videos. Most of what I read or watch is stuff produced by the sangha I am part of electronically. Sometimes read other books or articles or things. The meditation I do is informed by the sangha's teachings. I do a refuge prayer and awakening bodhicitta prayer in the morning in the shower.

    And then in my life I try to be kind and mindful and things like that. I observe the precepts pretty well aside from sometimes having a beer with dinner. (Well at least I'm not breaking the fourth and lying about that).

    I have not formally taken refuge or the precepts or bodhisattva vows. I think I might do refuge in the spring electronically with my sangha if the opportunity comes.

    Wish I could find a Sangha nearby. There's nothing within over a hundred miles except for a Nyingma center. I might end up there but I don't know much about it. I wish there were either Gelug or Sakya nearby because I've benefitted so much from those teachings.

    My big nonvirtue is frivolous speech, joking too much and what not with my best buddy and my wife. I used to lie a lot (I was in advertising). Now I don't. I drink a few beers maybe once every two weeks.

    So, congrats on your ethical discipline. It's something I wish I would've mastered a long time ago, but I didn't see the harm in certain nonvirtuous actions especially of speech, was ignorant about karma.

    Jeffrey
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited February 1

    @JaySon on I access the sangha I am part of electronically. We are Kagyu and Nyingma based. Some connections to both. My teacher has a different view on emptiness than Gelug but it's rather complicated to unpack that discussion. I think intellectually there is a big difference but people just speaking simply from their heart I guess there is hardly a difference. I would like to meet some Buddhists in person too but there's only so much time to do different things and it would be somewhat confusing (maybe) for me to join a Zen group and at the same time be studying my lama and her sangha's teachings.

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    @JaySon on I access the sangha I am part of electronically. We are Kagyu and Nyingma based. Some connections to both. My teacher has a different view on emptiness than Gelug but it's rather complicated to unpack that discussion. I think intellectually there is a big difference but people just speaking simply from their heart I guess there is hardly a difference. I would like to meet some Buddhists in person too but there's only so much time to do different things and it would be somewhat confusing (maybe) for me to join a Zen group and at the same time be studying my lama and her sangha's teachings.

    There's a book called Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness by a Karma Kagyu master that I found helpful. In it, he refutes the Gelug's Prasangika view but he uses all the various views of other schools as stepping stones to the Karma Kagyu ultimate view.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited February 1

    @JaySon my teacher was the editor of that book actually and the author is her teacher! I've read it before and thought it was pretty good explanations.

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    @JaySon my teacher was the editor of that book actually and the author is her teacher! I've read it before and thought it was pretty good explanations.

    Awesome!

  • What do you practice?

    Uptown Funk ... Eh ... Wrong again? :3

    JaySonVastmindGuiKundo
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited February 1

    What do you practice?

    Presentmindedness ...when just sitting or wandering around...and this often entails

    Kindness....

    Compassion...

    And
    Acceptance...of what is....

    In my practice there are no goals to speak of...just practice...( goalposts are often moved)...

    Different Buddhist traditions/schools/sects may have a different take on The Four Noble Truths & Eight Fold Path ...but all traditions tend to see the same light at the end of the tunnel .....

    Thus have I heard that Bodhidharma mentioned this...

    "The most essential method which includes all other methods is to behold the Mind- The Mind is the root from which all things grow-If one can understand the Mind...Everything else is included"

    And when it comes to Buddhist traditions/schools/sects...I'm a flexi practitioner...
    Whatever floats my raft and keeps it afloat...no preference...just an open mind...(but not so open that my brains fall out ... well maybe just the terrorist cells fall out :) )

    JaySonlobsterKeromeVastmind
  • GuiGui Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    I'm just curious what everyone practices here.

    Forgetting to think. That's basically it. Except I've found it doesn't go so well at work.

    lobster
  • GuiGui Veteran

    @Lobster, that is one of the coolest videos I have ever seen. Many thanks.

  • ajhayesajhayes Northern Michigan Veteran

    I honestly don't know what I practice. I learn what I can from several traditions, I watch talks from several Monks and Nuns, read books of different traditions... I have the feeling that I should pick a tradition, but, I can't stop the thought that just "general Buddhism" is acceptable.

    In short, I'm very confused and I don't think it's the worst thing in the world.

    Alexperson
  • In January I was doing breath meditation in the mornings before work, and loving-kindness in the evenings.

    I’m thinking of doing a month of shikantaza starting on Monday. The new moon feels like an auspicious time to change, but I’m probably being overly superstitious about that.

    I keep the precepts, interpreting the fifth as abstaining from intoxication rather than simply intoxicants. So I have one beer with dinner from time to time.

    And I’ve been trying a couple of local practice centres but haven’t found one that quite fits yet. I’d love to take precepts and refuge formally.

    Other than that—reading, reading, reading...

    lobsterJaySonAlex
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    I practice what my teacher teaches us.
    He is a Tibetan Buddhist monk, born in Tibet, educate at Namgyal in Dharamshala and earned his Geshe degree. So I practice Vajrayana.

    Does it fit? Not exactly. I'm a Westerner, not a Tibetan.
    But the system works, and has produced inner change. And since the big thing about Buddhism is learning self-awareness and relaxing into it, that also means you relax if the system is not a perfect fit.

    A bunch of locals in my city started up a Buddhist centre, and requested a teacher, and he was sent to us in 2000. We support him and the building in which he lives and teaches.

    lobsterShoshinJaySonperson
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I’m a mix of Tibetan and Zen

    Alex
  • JewelJewel North Carolina, USA New

    I practice zazen. Every moment of every day, I try to keep connected but unconnected, part of life but not part of life, if that makes any sense. I'm just starting my formal zazen practice at a local couple's house. I also practice compassion and try to do a good deed for someone every day at least. Today, my good deed is asking some friends to go out to dinner with me to cheer them up. They've been having a difficult time in their life and I just want them to be able to let it go for a bit before they return to their worldly responsibilities.

    adamcrossleyShoshinlobsterAlex
  • @ajhayes said:
    In short, I'm very confused and I don't think it's the worst thing in the world.

    It ain't.
    Bewilderment is a station or stage in the sufi dharma.

    @ajhayes said:
    I have the feeling that I should pick a tradition, but, I can't stop the thought that just "general Buddhism" is acceptable.

    Sounds good to me. ?
    'I don't know mine-d' ?

    @Gui said:
    @Lobster, that is one of the coolest videos I have ever seen. Many thanks.

    Where do the cool kid dharmaists hang? ;) ? ?

    ajhayes
  • I practice what is commonly called Nichiren Buddhism through SGI, a purely ley organization. Our practice is based upon the Lotus Sutra. We recite portions of the Second and Sixteenth chapters of the Lotus Sutra and chant the invocation "Nam myoho renge kyo" in the morning and evening daily. We do not have nor do we follow a priesthood.

    Peace to all.

    Shoshin
  • herbieherbie Veteran

    I do not follow a particular tradition but my practice is derived from Indo-Tibetan traditions.
    I am trying to avoid formal practices like meditation sittings done on a regular basis because my intention is to practice continually applying a kind of mindfulness. Only when certain things happen I take refuge to formal practices or I do these spontaneously following an inner impulse.

    Alex
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    In my own personal opinion (which of course, is subject to View, understanding and learning), Tibetan Buddhism is too full of superstition, ritual and human personal interpretation and transmission of teachings which have been relatively removed and altered form the Buddha's original intentions.
    Mahayana arose a good deal after the Buddha's passing and I feel myself, is far too influenced by personal agendas...

    Indian traditions would imply non-Buddhist influences, such as Hinduism or Sikhism, which vary subtly, in parts, and hugely in others, to Buddhism. That would also create some conflict and confusion in my mind, and lead me to create, imagine or understand many things in an erroneous way...

    Just my 2 cents...

    Alex
  • herbieherbie Veteran

    @federica said:
    In my own personal opinion (which of course, is subject to View, understanding and learning), Tibetan Buddhism is too full of superstition, ritual and human personal interpretation and transmission of teachings which have been relatively removed and altered form the Buddha's original intentions.
    Mahayana arose a good deal after the Buddha's passing and I feel myself, is far too influenced by personal agendas...

    Indian traditions would imply non-Buddhist influences, such as Hinduism or Sikhism, which vary subtly, in parts, and hugely in others, to Buddhism. That would also create some conflict and confusion in my mind, and lead me to create, imagine or understand many things in an erroneous way...

    Just my 2 cents...

    Dear federica,

    Guess what. That doesn't surprise me. <3

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    When an educated mind communicates coherently, nothing surprises.

  • herbieherbie Veteran
    edited April 12

    Dear @federica,

    the strange thing is that it is not only you who is not amused about my appearance and posting in your forum and who is therefore criticising me for this or that. The same happened when I appeared in a Mahayana forum. Once a Mahayana forum moderator even called me names. Such a compassionate bodhisattva.

    And this happens even though I do not use offensive words, ad homs or denigrate buddhist teachings.

    I really must have done bad things to a sangha in one of my former lives.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    It's not what you say, it's the way that you say it.
    Your words may have value.
    Your intention and transmission leaves MUCH to be desired.
    But then, maybe that's your 'conditioning' again..,.

    And if someone else had their back put up by you, then maybe you're the common denominator.

    If it's not us....
    Then it's definitely you.

    Kundo
  • herbieherbie Veteran

    @federica said:
    Your intention and transmission leaves MUCH to be desired.
    But then, maybe that's your 'conditioning' again..,.

    Hmh ... I thought that actually I am lacking compassion ... or it's a kind of 'light autism' ... autists simply have no feeling how to deal with others emotions they even don't recognize emotions ... It is not so in offline life where I can see people, look into their eyes etc but ... maybe I am an 'online autist' in this regard ?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    You're either autistic or you're not.

    It's a condition applicable to varying degrees, but it's not location-selective.

    adamcrossley
  • herbieherbie Veteran

    @federica said:
    You're either autistic or you're not.

    It's a condition applicable to varying degrees, but it's not location-selective.

    I'll take the middle way then: not autistic, not not autistic, not both and not neither. ;)

  • ajhayesajhayes Northern Michigan Veteran
    edited April 12

    What do I practice?

    A proper response.

  • @herbie said:
    I'll take the middle way then: not autistic, not not autistic, not both and not neither. ;)

    I’m not saying there’s no grey area, but it’s definitely for a specialist to decide. Also, a great many people with autism have as much capacity for empathy as neurotypical people, and the stereotypes don’t help them much.

    federicaKundo
  • herbieherbie Veteran
    edited April 13

    @adamcrossley said:

    @herbie said:
    I'll take the middle way then: not autistic, not not autistic, not both and not neither. ;)

    I’m not saying there’s no grey area, but it’s definitely for a specialist to decide. Also, a great many people with autism have as much capacity for empathy as neurotypical people, and the stereotypes don’t help them much.

    It's been a kind of rambling only. The concept of 'autism' alsways pops up in my mind when I experience in incapacity of communication either observing others or being involved myself.
    From my perspective whether to seek advice from specialists or not depends on the degree of dukkha involved.

    What bothers me more is to bridge the experienced devide between conceptual practice and non-conceptual practice. Especially if the conceptual practice is rational-analytical this seems to counteract compassion in the very moment that conceptual practice is performed. i think that it is simply the concentration required in rational analysis that suppresses all feelings and emotions. But as a consequence when I practice rational analysis in the sphere of communication listeners or readers are often put off by my words because the words appear to be 'cold' or even arrogant. From my perspective however I am just no longer in the desire realm during concentrated rational expression.

    In this context it is interesting that it is a common theme in the teachings I am following that the wisdom of emptiness is not necessarily conjoined with compassion. Of course it is the ideal that it is but the teachings in this context are often ambiguous.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Unconditional Compassion - Karuna - is most definitely conjoined with Emptiness. You need Emptiness for it to be Unconditional.
    Compassion is often practised in a Conditional way because many who practise compassion have an agenda. therefore, it is not 'Empty'. Unconditional means being spontaneously Compassionate for no other reason other than being Compassionate.
    It is almost an instinct to be open-armed and Giving.
    Compassion needs to be aligned with Wisdom.
    Without Wisdom, Compassion is not Compassion.
    And the Wise Know Emptiness....

  • herbieherbie Veteran
    edited April 13

    @federica said:
    Unconditional Compassion - Karuna - is most definitely conjoined with Emptiness. You need Emptiness for it to be Unconditional.
    Compassion is often practised in a Conditional way because many who practise compassion have an agenda. therefore, it is not 'Empty'. Unconditional means being spontaneously Compassionate for no other reason other than being Compassionate.
    It is almost an instinct to be open-armed and Giving.
    Compassion needs to be aligned with Wisdom.
    Without Wisdom, Compassion is not Compassion.
    And the Wise Know Emptiness....

    Great! Now you are nearly speaking like my teachers :) <3
    They usually speak of 'union of compassion and emptiness' and call it 'Great compassion'.
    you say 'spontaneously' and 'almost an instinct' while others speak of 'Buddha nature'.

    However what I was referring to above was the wisdom in meditation. As one has to know compassion either spontaneously or through conceptually initiating it, one has to 'know' (metaphor!) emptiness either spontaneously or through conceptually initiating it in meditation. There are not many who have advanced on the path in former lives so that they can 'know' emptiness spontaneously. And if in meditation on emptiness a 'union of compassion and emptiness' is not certain and so it is in post-meditation.

    Once buddhahood will be attained there will no question about 'union of compassion and emptiness' or non-union or about meditation or non-meditation. Why? Because buddhahood is beyond the conventional world.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran
    edited April 13

    @JaySon ,if your lurking i do daozen.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited April 13

    I'm not sure 'desire realm' is same thing as a 'writing style' of cool rationality versus warm engaging writing style. It strikes me that an attitude of coolness or analysis does not correlate (to me) to being outside of the desire realm. That could just be my wrong analysis though as I am not an expert on the meaning of that term.

    Shoshinperson
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    What do you practice?

    I guess for the most part I practice staying out of trouble... The Dharma helps... ;) :)

    paulysoKundo
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    The best time to meditate, the best place, the best length of practice is the one that you actually do. Showing up for the practice today, however long or short, is enough.

    —Kate Johnson, “Calming the Not Now Mind”

    federica
  • herbieherbie Veteran
    edited April 15

    @Jeffrey said:
    I'm not sure 'desire realm' is same thing as a 'writing style' of cool rationality versus warm engaging writing style. It strikes me that an attitude of coolness or analysis does not correlate (to me) to being outside of the desire realm. That could just be my wrong analysis though as I am not an expert on the meaning of that term.

    you are right insofar an 'attitude of coolness or analysis' may involve a sentiment of I, my, mine pertaining to the desire realm. In that case rational analysis only enforces what it purports to undermine.
    So the setting of rational analysis is decisive. Descartes said 'I think, therefore I am' but rationality in the context of rational analysis of Madhyamaka is 'thinking immersed in not being.'

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @herbie said:...But as a consequence when I practice rational analysis in the sphere of communication listeners or readers are often put off by my words because the words appear to be 'cold' or even arrogant. From my perspective however I am just no longer in the desire realm during concentrated rational expression.

    It would be of great benefit to your practice if you were to pay attention to the perspective of others, instead of putting your perspective before that of others.

    O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us!

    Robert Burns.

    Kundo
  • herbieherbie Veteran

    @federica said:

    @herbie said:...But as a consequence when I practice rational analysis in the sphere of communication listeners or readers are often put off by my words because the words appear to be 'cold' or even arrogant. From my perspective however I am just no longer in the desire realm during concentrated rational expression.

    It would be of great benefit to your practice if you were to pay attention to the perspective of others, instead of putting your perspective before that of others.

    Dear federica,

    I am not putting my perspective before that of others. I write 'From my perspective' to explicitly show that there is no claim of truth in my words.
    Everybody is writing from her/his perspective if there is expression in a given context. So what should be wrong when I make this explicitly transparent in my case?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Because you see things uniquely from your perspective.
    The perspective of others are legion.

    When one person says grey, and many others say white, the person who says grey should pause and reconsider. If they're outnumbered, maybe the many, have a point.

    Kundo
  • herbieherbie Veteran
    edited April 15

    @federica said:
    Because you see things uniquely from your perspective.
    The perspective of others are legion.

    When one person says grey, and many others say white, the person who says grey should pause and reconsider. If they're outnumbered, maybe the many, have a point.

    My perspective doesn't stand for truth as the perspective of others doesn't stand for truth? So what should be wrong expressing one's perspective? I do not expect others to express my perspective. On the contrary I am happy with others expressing their perspective.
    Numbers can't turn non-truth into truth. There's only one Buddha at a time but countless sentient beings.

    Alex
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Like I said.
    Excellent Buddhist ...

  • AlexAlex Explorer

    @herbie

    “Numbers can't turn non-truth into truth”

    100% this ??

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited April 15

    @herbie I thought you were saying that using your concentrated rational expression you get 'in the zone'. That is a concentration and it can happen doing sports or in your case focusing on writing. However in my understanding being outside of the desire realm isn't just ordinary 'in the zone I scored 20 points in basketball'. Outside the desire realm (in my understanding) is like being in the dhyanas/jhanas. That is not an everyday thing and most people never experience them. I could be wrong but I mentioned it with the intention to helpfully correct a misunderstanding.

  • herbieherbie Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    @herbie I thought you were saying that using your concentrated rational expression you get 'in the zone'. That is a concentration and it can happen doing sports or in your case focusing on writing. However in my understanding being outside of the desire realm isn't just ordinary 'in the zone I scored 20 points in basketball'. Outside the desire realm (in my understanding) is like being in the dhyannas/jhannas. That is not an everyday thing and most people never experience them. I could be wrong but I mentioned it with the intention to helpfully correct a misunderstanding.

    Thanks for your kind effort, Jeffrey. I think I understand what you are saying. My 'not being in the desire realm' referred to the sentiment of desire realm I, my, mine only. Maybe 'not completely in the desire realm' would have been more appropriate considering that my intention was not to say 'attained jhana' and considering that one may usually attain 'only' the entry concentration to 1st jhana with analytical meditation.
    In the form and formless realms there still is a sentiment of self but compared to the coarse sentiment in desire realm it gets increasingly subtle.
    But when the sentiment of I, my, mine is still strongly attenuated in post-meditation on emptiness phase one cannot say that that state is full-fledged desire realm although it isn't jhana.

    btw i do no think that jhanas are as rare as you say. I think that jhanas may happen spontaneously under certain conditions but that they then are brief and mostly go unnoticed because of the brevity and because the subjects don't know what happens to them having never heard of jhanas.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Sounds good and as far as I know sounds about right. I'm not sure how common dhyanas/jhanas are and like you say they could come to someone who did not read about them spontaneously. But I do suppose they are not as common as 'being in the zone' playing sports or doing art. Which that might not happen at will unless you're a very lucky/good artist or athlete but still quite a bit more common.

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