Lama Pat Berube leads a regular circle at Sukhasiddhi that supports members to live the dharma teachings outside of their formal practice time. Here she discusses some of what it takes to bring the teachings to our daily lives.
THERE ARE MANY of us who find that studying Buddhism deepens our understanding and practice. Yes study alone is not enough: There are likely not many of us who will come to know stability within the nature of our mind without the deep practice of contemplation, meditation and deliberate spiritual practice throughout our everyday life.
Our daily life presents many opportunities for informal practice, enhances our formal practice and shifts our perspective. When we contemplate impermanence and the illusory nature of phenomena throughout the day, we have less attachment to possessions and relationships. To lose a loved one is very painful yet is more bearable when we practice contemplating impermanence and change.
As we progress in our ability to contemplate the teachings and bring them into our life, we begin to look at life differently — as a series of brief and precious moments. Our experiences become richer, our relationships more sincere when we cultivate greater appreciation, patience and compassion, with a genuine desire to make others happy in this brief life we have together.
Spiritual practice in our daily life begins when we look at our motivation and meet each day with the altruistic intention to be of help to others. In the Awake in the World series I offer through Sukhasiddhi, foundational teachings are presented in a way that provides opportunities for us to integrate their essence into our daily lives. Listening and applying the teachings again and again requires an ever-deepening commitment, which brings a certainty that creates the ground for joy in our lives. This certainty empowers us to practice deeply in our everyday lives, stabilizing our mind and cultivating a pure and open heart.