Saturday, March 16, 2013


The more we separate our spiritual practice from our daily lives, the more both suffer - our daily lives become less spiritual and our spiritual life becomes less and less relevant to who we really are and what we really do.

This is not a knock against Christianity, but the problem with the way many people practice the faith is they go to church on Sunday and become quite pious and charitable, but then go back to practicing greed, anger, and intolerance for the rest of the week.

We Buddhists are often quite the same.  We practice mindfulness in meditation, either together with the sangha or alone in our home practice.  But as soon as the bell rings, we go back to praising the self at the expense of others, taking that which is not freely given, and practicing greed, anger, and intolerance (sometimes we don't even wait for the bell to ring and engage in these activities in our thoughts while still on the cushion).

I suppose the precepts were developed to help guide us in our daily lives, but following a predetermined set of rules is quite different from being guided by our own internal instincts and doing good only for the sake of others.  

If we integrate our practice with our life and dissolve those artificial boundaries between the spiritual and the ordinary, between the sublime and the mundane, and the sacred and the profane, we open our lives to receive the wisdom of our practice.  After all, those boundaries were first created by our own discriminating minds, anyway.

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