Turn daily life into Dharma

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Brunelleschi
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Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Brunelleschi » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:27 pm

Just some thoughts on the topic of turning daily actions into Dharma.

Obviously all people doesn't have the good fortune to spend their the majorit of their days reading Buddhist texts and practicing Buddhists teachings. So, the advice one often gets is to turn daily actions into Dharma. But, how do we do this really? Especially in a non-Buddhist (secular Western) country? :thinking:

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tranides
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by tranides » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:54 pm

Its very simple imo ;). Train in paramitas, practice bodhicitta - work with compassion and love, meditate (formal practice and in between sessions), train in pure perception, dont hurt anyone (that means you as well), use every single opportunity to practice Dharma - the four foundations should be your friend, attend teachings of your guru and u will be good :)

Luke

Josef
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Josef » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:28 pm

tranides wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:54 pm
Its very simple imo ;). Train in paramitas, practice bodhicitta - work with compassion and love, meditate (formal practice and in between sessions), train in pure perception, dont hurt anyone (that means you as well), use every single opportunity to practice Dharma - the four foundations should be your friend, attend teachings of your guru and u will be good :)

Luke
That's exactly it.
Practicing bringing happiness and suffering into the path according to the teachings of Atisha, Patrul, and Khenpo Ngakchung is completely relevant to our daily lives.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Brunelleschi
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Brunelleschi » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm

Well, how do you keep your practice up without a community? I can walk around thinking positive thoughts about everyone, saying mantras during the day etc. But without the possibility of shared frame of reference with the people around you - it's all in your head. No one will ever know.

I've started contemplating of moving towards Islam - as there is a large muslim minority in my country and muslims seem to be the last people in the West to take their religion seriously. :shrug:

Josef
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Josef » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:58 pm

Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Well, how do you keep your practice up without a community? I can walk around thinking positive thoughts about everyone, saying mantras during the day etc. But without the possibility of shared frame of reference with the people around you - it's all in your head. No one will ever know.

I've started contemplating of moving towards Islam - as there is a large muslim minority in my country and muslims seem to be the last people in the West to take their religion seriously. :shrug:
Where do you live?
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Brunelleschi
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Brunelleschi » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:14 pm

Josef wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:58 pm
Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Well, how do you keep your practice up without a community? I can walk around thinking positive thoughts about everyone, saying mantras during the day etc. But without the possibility of shared frame of reference with the people around you - it's all in your head. No one will ever know.

I've started contemplating of moving towards Islam - as there is a large muslim minority in my country and muslims seem to be the last people in the West to take their religion seriously. :shrug:
Where do you live?
Let's just say Western Europe.

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tranides
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by tranides » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:16 pm

Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Well, how do you keep your practice up without a community? I can walk around thinking positive thoughts about everyone, saying mantras during the day etc. But without the possibility of shared frame of reference with the people around you - it's all in your head. No one will ever know.

I've started contemplating of moving towards Islam - as there is a large muslim minority in my country and muslims seem to be the last people in the West to take their religion seriously. :shrug:
What for do you need people arround you?
Daily life gives plenty of situations to practice, sangha is ofcourse great and helpfull but if its not there then no big deal, tho if you need sence of membership - find reliable sangha and work towards moving closer to them so you can participate in some regular practices. Western europe have plenty of places where Dharma lives.
Anyway - great mahasiddhas were practicing in caves all alone for their whole life - so "it was all in their head" - yet they became mahasiddhas :)

Luke

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by PuerAzaelis » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:25 pm

Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
I've started contemplating of moving towards Islam - as there is a large muslim minority in my country and muslims seem to be the last people in the West to take their religion seriously. :shrug:
Well if it's humor you want, perhaps you should also consider the other ortho-praxy.

I'm not really a Jew. Just Jewish. Not the whole hog, you know.
Jonathan Miller, Beyond the Fringe [TV interview] (1960)

To answer your question, as you are already doubtless aware, it can't be done. Ever since Augustine set in motion the crazy chain reactions and counter-reactions between the poles of freedom versus grace, the western world has defined itself in terms of how perfectly its beliefs conform to reality. I.e. what is the best ortho-doxy.

In that kind of milieu, unfortunately non-violence, as a mere practice, is just not that exciting at all. There really are just not that many novels written about eating your vegetables and helping old ladies across the street.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

climb-up
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by climb-up » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:31 pm

Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:27 pm
Just some thoughts on the topic of turning daily actions into Dharma.

Obviously all people doesn't have the good fortune to spend their the majorit of their days reading Buddhist texts and practicing Buddhists teachings. So, the advice one often gets is to turn daily actions into Dharma. But, how do we do this really? Especially in a non-Buddhist (secular Western) country? :thinking:
The better answer was already given. I was going to say mindfulness; which is only one of the paramitas.
There are many books that discuss variations of "Transforming adversity into the Spiritual Path," which can be very helpful (IMO). I really like the first section of Gyatrul Rinpoche's book: "Meditation, Transformation and Dream Yoga"
Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Well, how do you keep your practice up without a community? I can walk around thinking positive thoughts about everyone, saying mantras during the day etc. But without the possibility of shared frame of reference with the people around you - it's all in your head. No one will ever know.
I feel like you've lumped multiple questions into one here.
What is your primary difficulty?

Are you having trouble maintaining your regular practice?
That's a really good question. Probably some have great advice, but I would say doing a just little everyday is the way to do it (even just a couple minutes!). As long as you maintain that, you will benefit and the practice will naturally grow.

I'm not clear why maintaining a practice on your own would make it all in you head, or why it matters if anyone knows.
If your practice is helping you in your life it will naturally benefit others in their day-to-day life, and give them a connection to you (who are on the path) now and in future lives. Excellent! :twothumbsup:

Are you missing being a part of a community, and that personal and social support that comes with it?
That seems reasonable. I also don't have much suggestion for that, but places like this are a great way to interact with Buddhists, and there are communities in the day-to-day world that do provide social support.
I've started contemplating of moving towards Islam - as there is a large muslim minority in my country and muslims seem to be the last people in the West to take their religion seriously. :shrug:
I don't have any problem with Islam, but I am a little confused.
Are you saying that you just want to find a religious group that takes it's practice seriously and works hard?
(That's not a rhetorical question, as it might come across, I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from).

climb-up
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by climb-up » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:36 pm

Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:14 pm
Josef wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:58 pm
Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Well, how do you keep your practice up without a community? I can walk around thinking positive thoughts about everyone, saying mantras during the day etc. But without the possibility of shared frame of reference with the people around you - it's all in your head. No one will ever know.

I've started contemplating of moving towards Islam - as there is a large muslim minority in my country and muslims seem to be the last people in the West to take their religion seriously. :shrug:
Where do you live?
Let's just say Western Europe.
I'm still curious about some of the questions raised above (about why you need a group for it to be real), but of course I understand wanting a group of like minded practitioners.
I don't know Europe very well (...literally at all) but I'm sure there are practitioners close by. There are a lot of European Buddhists.
Maybe you could PM someone on DW who lives in your country for some suggestions?

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Jangchup Donden
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Jangchup Donden » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:37 pm

Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Well, how do you keep your practice up without a community? I can walk around thinking positive thoughts about everyone, saying mantras during the day etc. But without the possibility of shared frame of reference with the people around you - it's all in your head. No one will ever know.
Why does anyone else need to know? Are you practicing to free yourself and others from samsara, or are you practicing for praise, gain and attention from others? You can't take dharma siblings along with you when you die.

You'll know and your guru will know. I don't think anything else matters. In fact, I've heard the more others know of your Vajrayana practice, the less effective it is.

That being said, if you don't have a relationship with a genuine guru, then that's something that needs to be worked on. Have a community around that can be nice, but can also bring it's own set of problems and drama.

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Brunelleschi
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Brunelleschi » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:11 pm

tranides wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:16 pm
Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Well, how do you keep your practice up without a community? I can walk around thinking positive thoughts about everyone, saying mantras during the day etc. But without the possibility of shared frame of reference with the people around you - it's all in your head. No one will ever know.

I've started contemplating of moving towards Islam - as there is a large muslim minority in my country and muslims seem to be the last people in the West to take their religion seriously. :shrug:
What for do you need people arround you?
Daily life gives plenty of situations to practice, sangha is ofcourse great and helpfull but if its not there then no big deal, tho if you need sence of membership - find reliable sangha and work towards moving closer to them so you can participate in some regular practices. Western europe have plenty of places where Dharma lives.
Anyway - great mahasiddhas were practicing in caves all alone for their whole life - so "it was all in their head" - yet they became mahasiddhas :)

Luke
You need people that share a common frame of reference. In order to build relationships, discuss things, etc. You know, life! Sure I can read books - I have plenty of them. But it just doesn't cut it.

Well, I'm not a Mahasiddha, I'm weak. So there's that.
Jangchup Donden wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:37 pm
Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Well, how do you keep your practice up without a community? I can walk around thinking positive thoughts about everyone, saying mantras during the day etc. But without the possibility of shared frame of reference with the people around you - it's all in your head. No one will ever know.
Why does anyone else need to know? Are you practicing to free yourself and others from samsara, or are you practicing for praise, gain and attention from others? You can't take dharma siblings along with you when you die.

You'll know and your guru will know. I don't think anything else matters. In fact, I've heard the more others know of your Vajrayana practice, the less effective it is.

That being said, if you don't have a relationship with a genuine guru, then that's something that needs to be worked on. Have a community around that can be nice, but can also bring it's own set of problems and drama.
I'm practicing so as to not be reborn as a dog or some other animal. I'm talking about having a common frame of reference - not being praised. Of course people need to know. You need to be able to share you experiences with people. What's the point of life otherwise.

Anyway, maybe some people are fine sitting by themselves. But me personally I can't take it anymore. I'm going nuts.
Last edited by Brunelleschi on Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Brunelleschi
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Brunelleschi » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:20 pm

So, anyway. The topic being How can you turn Daily actions into Dharma when you have a regular job etc. Focus kind of shifted to the question of a community, but I guess that would be a separate thread. :yinyang: :juggling:

Miroku
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Miroku » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:23 pm

I think the best thing is trying to stay present and develop loving kindness and compassion. Also trying to remind yourself of dream-like nature of phenomena is quite helpful. :)

But it is easiest with some stable formal cusion practice as it gives it more juice and also it is the best starting point.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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tranides
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by tranides » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:26 pm

whats the point of life is realy good question considering your subject :). And tbh by reading you i have strong feeling that u somehow hame connected real religious experience with society. But thats blind corner as sociwty itself is a great example how impermanence works. And in my opinion if u need people that u share your point of reference u do it for sake of your self not your practice. Im pretty sure that for real religious experience all u need is u and your guru. everything else is just a nice addon.

Luke

Jeff H
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Jeff H » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:46 pm

Monlam Tharchin, here on DW, started a thread in the Tibetan Buddhism board last September called “Daily Lojong”, based on a website called Lojong Online. It consists of presenting one of 59 lojong slogans each day for the purpose of proactive reflection and practice. These 59 slogan comprise the traditional Tibetan mind training practice, and if you are serious about integrating Buddhist principles into your daily life, lojong is all about doing exactly that, with or without a supporting community.

I joined MT in his reflections on the daily slogans, but unfortunately he had to drop out before completing all 59. In any event you can refer to the thread to see how we interpreted the slogans, or just go to Lojong Online and start from scratch. My final post in that thread contained some additional links you might find useful if this seems like something you want to do.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

climb-up
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by climb-up » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:59 pm

Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:20 pm
So, anyway. The topic being How can you turn Daily actions into Dharma when you have a regular job etc. Focus kind of shifted to the question of a community, but I guess that would be a separate thread. :yinyang: :juggling:
It seems like that is what you're after.
Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Well, how do you keep your practice up without a community? I can walk around thinking positive thoughts about everyone, saying mantras during the day etc.
To practice dharma while having a job, etc. you meditate and study when you can and practice the paramitas in your life.
But without the possibility of shared frame of reference with the people around you - it's all in your head. No one will ever know.
It's not in your head if you're practicing and it's benefiting you and the people around you.

You need people that share a common frame of reference. In order to build relationships, discuss things, etc. You know, life! Sure I can read books - I have plenty of them. But it just doesn't cut it.
That may be true for you, in which case we should find some people around you (I bet we could!), but that is absolutely not universally true.

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Jangchup Donden
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Jangchup Donden » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:58 am

Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:11 pm
You need people that share a common frame of reference. In order to build relationships, discuss things, etc. You know, life! Sure I can read books - I have plenty of them. But it just doesn't cut it.
Sure, but what you're talking about isn't really Dharma. I mean if you want friends and relationships there's a whole lot of ways to do that outside of Buddhism.
Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 pm
I'm practicing so as to not be reborn as a dog or some other animal. I'm talking about having a common frame of reference - not being praised. Of course people need to know. You need to be able to share you experiences with people. What's the point of life otherwise.

Anyway, maybe some people are fine sitting by themselves. But me personally I can't take it anymore. I'm going nuts.
If you're just practicing to not be reborn as a dog or some other animal then you're practicing a worldly vehicle. Nothing wrong with that, if that's what you want -- although even if you manage to not be reborn as an animal (or worse) in your next life, there are no guarantees as to what happens after that. You might better off with another religion as you've maybe missed the point of what Buddhism is about. Samsara sucks and the Buddhist path is to get out of it.

Christianity and Islam all focus on having strong church/temple communities, if you're looking for groups of people to hang out with and share experiences. If you practice them correctly (i.e., lovingkindness, compassion, moral discipline) they'll keep you out of the lower realms, for a little while at least.

At any rate, back to your original question, turning your daily life into Dharma and being part of a community are (at least in my opinion) two separate things really.

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Carlita
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Carlita » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:18 am

Brunelleschi wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:27 pm
Just some thoughts on the topic of turning daily actions into Dharma.

Obviously all people doesn't have the good fortune to spend their the majorit of their days reading Buddhist texts and practicing Buddhists teachings. So, the advice one often gets is to turn daily actions into Dharma. But, how do we do this really? Especially in a non-Buddhist (secular Western) country? :thinking:
:namaste:

I know this is going to sound like a rerun clichè with truth in it: meditate.

For example, I read the Pali Canon, the suttas, a lot. Im Dharmic in goals but with study and practice I dont study suttras. So, real life story, my aunt passed away last week. This got me thinking about death, rebirth, etc. My aunts mind. Where is she now? Total samsara.

So, I look for what The Buddha talked about with grieving. How did he handle it. How he told his disciples. What he taught beyone the noble truths. What was his conclusion.

You start building a literal connection between what The Buddha says and what you know is true. Someone insults you. The Buddha has a good sutta on insults. He says the actions are owned by the person making the insult. He told his disciple, if he thinks of the insult as part of himself, he siffers. But if he doesnt take ownership of another persons actions, he is liberated.

Daily life application: meditating on death and using affirmations to remind myself I dont own another persons karma. Its all on them.

Other daily applications. Use what you do for work as part of your Dharma responsibilities. Did you take the bodhisattva vows? If you work with people, see yourself working to relieve them of suffering.

Giving is also another way to gain merit. Thats in the suttas. A lot of things. As for sutras, the only one I read was The Lotus Sutra. I honestly dont make differences between mahayana and hinayana. It makes it seem one side cares more about people than the either side.

Connect real life examples and values to what you read. Develop rewards and plans so you see your progress. Trust The Dharma even if it hasnt gelled in you yet. Practics.

Meditate.
[The Buddha says to his monks], when he opens his mouth to expound or when he reads the sutra, he should not delight in speaking of the faults of other people or scriptures. He should not display contempt for other teachers of the Law or speak of the good or bad, the strong or weak points of others. -Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra
:anjali:

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Jangchup Donden
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Re: Turn daily life into Dharma

Post by Jangchup Donden » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:53 am

Also back to the topic, I'd say that if you take some time each day to reflect and meditate on the four thoughts that turn the mind to Dharma, then your daily life will naturally become Dharmic.

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