"practice in daily life"

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clyde
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"practice in daily life"

Post by clyde »

Elsewhere, Meido posted this:
Meido wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 4:13 pm In the modern era there is an increasingly common conceit (not just in Zen) that "practice in daily life" means that one can adjust practice to fit one's life, instead of adjusting one's life to fit practice. There is also a common conceit that one need not practice a lot.
What does “practice in daily life” mean?

I don’t know what Meido meant by “adjusting one’s life to fit practice.” I don’t think of it as an “adjusting”, but as, and as best I can, applying the Dharma to the moment. This (“applying the Dharma”) was ‘taught’ to me by a dear departed Dharma friend and bodhisattva, who brought the Dharma to bear in all situations.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”
Malcolm
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by Malcolm »

clyde wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:22 pm Elsewhere, Meido posted this:
Meido wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 4:13 pm In the modern era there is an increasingly common conceit (not just in Zen) that "practice in daily life" means that one can adjust practice to fit one's life, instead of adjusting one's life to fit practice. There is also a common conceit that one need not practice a lot.
What does “practice in daily life” mean?

I don’t know what Meido meant by “adjusting one’s life to fit practice.”
It means fitting the Dharma into one's life, rather than fitting one's life into Dharma. The latter is a desiderata, the former is dilettantism.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Grigoris
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by Grigoris »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:24 pm...the former is dilettantism.
Guilty as charged.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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clyde
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by clyde »

Substituting “fitting” for “adjusting” doesn’t make the meaning any clearer. Perhaps you could elaborate on what you mean. How would that apply to everyday activities for lay practitioners?
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”
narhwal90
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by narhwal90 »

Perhaps, adopt the precepts as general instruction for conduct. Instead of squashing the bug, escort it outside. Have tea instead of a beer. Practice dana instead of thinking about it; find a volunteer cause and regularly donate some time. What would it look like to renounce isolation, renounce anger, renounce fear when off the cushion, out in the world? Notice the internal resistance that arises when making these different choices instead of those you are accustomed to (and may not even be aware of) and see that this is putting your skin in the game instead of changing the game to be more comfortable.
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Re: "practice in daily life"

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clyde wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:14 pm Substituting “fitting” for “adjusting” doesn’t make the meaning any clearer. Perhaps you could elaborate on what you mean. How would that apply to everyday activities for lay practitioners?
I believe It means that it doesn't take absolute precedence in one's life but rather an accessory to one's life.

My limited understanding is it should be more foundational.

:anjali:
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by Charlie123 »

clyde wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:14 pm Substituting “fitting” for “adjusting” doesn’t make the meaning any clearer. Perhaps you could elaborate on what you mean. How would that apply to everyday activities for lay practitioners?
Sometimes, people will distort the dharma so that it fits perfectly with and even supports their preexisting beliefs and established habitual patters. This might be what is meant by "fitting the dharma into one's life". For example, this is what happens in new age circles and also in dharma-lite circles.

"Fitting one's life into the dharma" is when we apply the dharma, exactly as it was taught to us, to our minds, and as a result, our life comes into accord with the dharma. Everything we do becomes the dharma.

This is how I interpreted what Meido and Malcolm wrote. Maybe, I am wrong.
Ted Biringer
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by Ted Biringer »

clyde wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:22 pm Elsewhere, Meido posted this:
Meido wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 4:13 pm In the modern era there is an increasingly common conceit (not just in Zen) that "practice in daily life" means that one can adjust practice to fit one's life, instead of adjusting one's life to fit practice. There is also a common conceit that one need not practice a lot.
What does “practice in daily life” mean?

I don’t know what Meido meant by “adjusting one’s life to fit practice.” I don’t think of it as an “adjusting”, but as, and as best I can, applying the Dharma to the moment. This (“applying the Dharma”) was ‘taught’ to me by a dear departed Dharma friend and bodhisattva, who brought the Dharma to bear in all situations.

Thank you for your post.

For me, "practice in daily life", is not and cannot be any different than any other kind of "practice." In other words, "practice" (or practice-enlightenment) is either authentic practice or it is not. In genuine Zen practice-enlightenment there is no distinction between "daily life" and anything else.

With this in mind, here is my understanding of what authentic Zen practice-enlightenment is.

Authentic Zen practice-enlightenment ultimately amounts to authentic human culture. Here ‘culture’ is meant in its fullest sense; civilization, humankind, refinement, wisdom, creativity, ethos, mythos, growth, ingenuity, enhancement, fulfillment, sacrament, enjoyment, ornament, art, etc. For authentic culture is the form and essence of Zen practice-enlightenment, the very reason (Jp. dori) of Zen. Zen ‘practice’ is the way or activity of culture, Zen ‘enlightenment’ is the expression or realm of culture. This practice-enlightenment is an ever-enhancing universal process of liberation and fulfillment. The place-and-time of this way and realm is the here-and-now of the individual sentient being; its richest fields for cultivation are the expressions of awakened hearts and minds that ring out through space and time in the ceaseless actualization of the universe into novelty.

Authentic Zen can be accurately discerned by its intrinsic quality of establishing, engaging, and refining the normal human capacity of ‘nonthinking’ – authentic practice-enlightenment. Nonthinking (thinking not-thinking) is the human capacity of seeing true nature (kensho) or seeing Buddha (kenbutsu).

To see true nature is to see dharmas as they are, rather than through the ‘dark glass’ of systematic theories, generalizations, literal definitions, or fixed formulas. The true nature of the self and the world simply cannot be discerned from a perspective grounded on speculative assumptions, fixed doctrines, codes, schools, or established institutions. Of the various species identified as ‘Zen,’ all that conform to orthodox views, literal definitions, unverifiable claims, exclusive memberships, or objective standards of any kind are not authentic Zen or authentic culture. They are, therefore, of no relevance to the Zen practitioner except where their influence might obscure the vision of authentic Zen, thus call for refutation and rectification.

Peace,
Ted
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

clyde wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:14 pm Substituting “fitting” for “adjusting” doesn’t make the meaning any clearer. Perhaps you could elaborate on what you mean. How would that apply to everyday activities for lay practitioners?
I think it means to take a commitment to practice and study seriously, instead of just a "lifestyle choice" one can pick up and drop as needed.

It also alludes to the idea that Dharma practice should be transformative, if we are living, thinking, and being in the same more we did prior to our introduction to the teachings, we may not be doing anything at all.

Now, you can Zen your way around that by saying "dude there's nowhere to go and nothing to do, so no problem"...people do that in the Tibetan Buddhist world do that too, when they want to just keep doing what they are doing and having a "nondual" hall pass to do so. It's like using the teachings as a really light form of therapy, to make daily life work better, and then claiming that daily life is practice anyway. A kind of intellectual shell game that sometimes pretends anti-intellectualism.

The Dharma is bigger than us as individuals, and certainly bigger than our comforts, and we should treat it that way, and just admit when we fail to practice or our commitment lags.

For all the talk about practice in Daily life, the experience of going to Zendo -involving all the bowing, cushion-cleaning, Oryoki, Zazen and Kinhin and whatever else is precisely to shift one's understanding of just what is sitting, what is walking, what is eating, etc. A lot of times I think people do the opposite, they take their mundane, samsaric way of eating, walking, whatever that they have always done and say "this is Dharma, because nondualism/emptiness". So yes, all of life is practice, but if that were so in the way it's often phrased - just mundane life is enough, with no shift of perspective-, then we wouldn't need any teachings at all.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
Charlie123
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by Charlie123 »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:04 am
clyde wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:14 pm Substituting “fitting” for “adjusting” doesn’t make the meaning any clearer. Perhaps you could elaborate on what you mean. How would that apply to everyday activities for lay practitioners?
A lot of times I think people do the opposite, they take their mundane, samsaric way of eating, walking, whatever that they have always done and say "this is Dharma, because nondualism/emptiness". So yes, all of life is practice, but if that were so in the way it's often phrased - just mundane life is enough, with no shift of perspective-, then we wouldn't need any teachings at all.
Yeah, that is a good example of people distorting the dharma to fit their own life. I think there are other ways to do it besides the whole nihilism trip, but that is a pretty common one.
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by Malcolm »

clyde wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:14 pm Substituting “fitting” for “adjusting” doesn’t make the meaning any clearer. Perhaps you could elaborate on what you mean. How would that apply to everyday activities for lay practitioners?
It means bringing everything into the path and employing everything as the path.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Matt J
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by Matt J »

You may want to check this short video where he discusses daily practice:

https://youtu.be/OTdy9Uo0kyE
clyde wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:22 pm Elsewhere, Meido posted this:
Meido wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 4:13 pm In the modern era there is an increasingly common conceit (not just in Zen) that "practice in daily life" means that one can adjust practice to fit one's life, instead of adjusting one's life to fit practice. There is also a common conceit that one need not practice a lot.
What does “practice in daily life” mean?

I don’t know what Meido meant by “adjusting one’s life to fit practice.” I don’t think of it as an “adjusting”, but as, and as best I can, applying the Dharma to the moment. This (“applying the Dharma”) was ‘taught’ to me by a dear departed Dharma friend and bodhisattva, who brought the Dharma to bear in all situations.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
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seeker242
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Re: "practice in daily life"

Post by seeker242 »

clyde wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:22 pm I don’t know what Meido meant by “adjusting one’s life to fit practice.” I don’t think of it as an “adjusting”, but as, and as best I can, applying the Dharma to the moment.
It could easily be said that this is “adjusting one’s life to fit practice.”, if previously you never actually did that. Doing something differently than what you did before is certainly an "adjustment". An example of "adjust practice to fit one's life" would be something like "I'm busy today so I'm not going to sit, I'll just be try to be mindful when driving my car around and that's good enough" Meanwhile, you are flipping off the person that just cut you off! In other words, when life gets in the way, practice takes a back seat. If you are adjusting one’s life to fit practice, then when life gets in the way, life is the one who gets the back seat, not practice.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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