A PERSONAL NOTE FROM VENERABLE TENZIN DASEL:
Warm greetings, dear Dharma friends,
With warmer weather setting in for the next few months, we at Tashi Gatsel Ling Buddhist Center will be spending more time outdoors and putting our practice where the rubber hits the road. Here in India we will be in silent retreat diving deeply into the peace that passeth understanding. Therefore, we shall be pausing our monthly programming of Medicine Buddha Puja and Maine Moment Meditation so our community can invest more time in personal practice.
Here are a few ideas:
– Walks in nature or at the beach
– Retreat for a few hours, a day, a weekend or a week
– Saying additional mantras each morning and evening
– Increasing morning meditation sessions by adding 10 minutes more
– Adding an evening meditation session
– Committing a new prayer to heart
– Sharing practical Dharma with a child or grandchild with a focus on happiness, healthy habits, truth telling, and kindness activities
– Feeding the hungry: birds, people, or shelter animals
– Growing more flowers, plant a new garden
– Practicing a vegetarian diet by going meatless two days a week
– Sitting out on the screen porch in the evening, skipping the evening news
– Taking someone out for a surprise ice cream cone or sundae (don’t tell them where you are going)
– Cleaning out items no longer needed or worn and giving them away
– Recalling the times you felt altruistic loving kindness and deep compassion by writing these stories down or sharing them with others
– Becoming less opinionated and become a fresh observer without labelling, let the mind rest in open awareness
– Living in Noble Silence for at least 30-60 minutes a day
– Eating just breakfast and lunch with no snacking in between, lite dinner 3 days a week
– Setting up a dedicated sacred meditation/prayer area in your living space
– Taking a news and media fast, alternate a day on and day off for summer months.
The main point is to make whatever you decide to focus your practice on personally meaningful. It is essential to approach what we do in our practice with confidence in order to gain support and clarity on the path toward enlightenment. By lightening our load and schedule, we are able decide what will be the most joyful and beneficial way to hone in our daily commitment. Then, absolutely, make a clear commitment and timetable for practice.
Let’s not kid ourselves, there are reasons we must schedule appointments at the doctor’s or dentist’s offices and cannot just randomly show up when we get in the mood. Likewise, we need a schedule built into our days to help us keep our practice on course. We cannot just do it when the feeling moves us. It is like learning to become skillful at the piano, we must practice the scales.
With all good wishes that your practice supports and grows your happiness, day by day, breath by breath, sending love and gratitude to all. May all be free and blissful,