Practice When You Can

Practice Time is Time Well Lived

We lead busy lives.  So, it’s wise to make time for practice.  The question is, how much time?  The answer is, any time spent practicing the Dharma and meditation is time well lived.

This is true even if the only time you have for practice is at the red traffic lights on your daily commute.

Stop

I still do “red light” mindfulness practice from time to time.  You can do it, too.  When you’re stopped at a traffic light, let go of your busy mind as best you can.  Relax.  Then along with you breath, make the light the center of your present-moment awareness.

When the light changes and it’s time to drive on, maintain a sense of mindfulness in the moment, if you can, but don’t worry about letting go of the meditative mind.

Just relax as best you can, whenever you can, even in the midst of busy mind.  Then just notice how busy your mind is.  Take a breath and rest in busy mind.

“Whenever you have time, use that time to practice. Training the mind, examining the mind, is the quickest, most direct method of all.” (Ajahn Dune)

Practice present-moment awareness when you can.  Practice thinking that is free from craving, ill-will, and cruelty.  Do good when you can.

Notice, when you can, that thoughts are just thoughts, feelings are merely feelings.

What do thoughts and feelings have in common? Thoughts and feelings arise, last for a time, change, and disappear.  They’re only thoughts, only feelings.

If you continually practice like this when you can, as best you can, you will grow in wisdom and compassion; you will grow more rooted and joyful.  You’ll be increasingly free from fear.

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And visit a Sweeping Heart Zen event.  Here’s a link to our calendar: sweepingheartzen.org/events/

Sweeping Heart Zen is located in historic Gloucester on Cape Ann. Cape Ann is about 40 miles up the coast from Boston on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

Gloucester_MA_-_harbour

The steeple on the left in the photo is on the Gloucester UU Church.  That’s where we meet.

May your life go well!