Real Dharma Practice Starts When Your Daily Prayer Session Ends

2009年7月30日 星期四 下午5:20 评论关闭

Our sadhana (daily prayers) might take up an hour each day. But the time that we are actually thinking, acting and associating with others makes up the other 23 hours of the day. These 23 hours are much more important than the one hour we’re doing our sadhanas.

As we are doing our sadhanas, we are reciting prayers so we cannot say many negative things with our speech; or we are thinking about a Dharma subject so our minds are focused on something positive. We also cannot do much harm with our bodily actions because we have to keep still while we are doing our prayers. To some degree, most of our body, speech and mind are focused on the Three Jewels and on prayer.

But when we are out of our sadhana, during the rest of the 23 hours – that is the most dangerous. That is when we are lazy, we engage in negative actions or in no action or we don’t push ourselves to doing something more with our lives. The time we are out of our sadhana is when we create more negative karma. Doing our sadhana is to correct our motivation – to think about the Dharma, about why we are here, about what we have learnt, about our own actions, to contemplate cause and effect and to think about what we want to do when we are out of our sadhanas.

Our sadhanas are not the real Dharma practice. The time out of our sadhanas is our real Dharma practice because that is how we really are: how we deal with things when we become upset or when disasters happen, how we act and behave when we are not being watched and how we carry out our responsibilities

The time we are off our meditation cushion is when we are really doing our sadhana. “Sadhana” actually means to “self-generate” or “change oneself” – in certain Buddhist practices, we transform ourselves into a Buddha during our meditational time; we visualise ourselves as the deity and learn to identify with their enlightened qualities.

Therefore, when we are out of our sadhanas, we should act out what we have been “doing” and visualising during our sadhanas. When else will we actually act out the prayers, the aspirations and the motivations we create during our sadhanas? Another life? Another year? Another time? No. We do it immediately when we finish our sadhanas.

One hour of our sadhana is not meant to cover the 23 hours in the day. The 23 hours is a training ground for that one hour. So, if we hold our vows, make an effort, apologise, are kind and generous, create happiness, help others, give away food, love and Dharma for 23 hours in a day, then our sadhanas become very powerful when we sit down and do it for that one hour.

Think of it this way: Your sadhana takes just one hour a day. That amounts to only seven hours a week. There are another 141 (23 x 7) hours a week that you have wasted. So, what’s more powerful? 141 hours a week or seven hours a week? The one hour that you’re sending love out to people every day, forgiving, crying and thinking about the Buddhas amounts to only about seven hours a week. That is only 28 hours a month compared to what could be 560.

Tsem Tulku