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Episode 169 - Transforming Ordinary Life Into Spiritual Training

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 04/29/2023

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More Episodes

Many of us may have a spiritual practice but often struggle to maintain it amidst the hustle and bustle of our daily routines. Whether it's work, family, or simply the demands of modern life, it can be challenging to find the time and space for our spiritual practice. In this episode, we focus on the practice of lovingkindness, also known as Metta, and explore how it can help us integrate our spiritual practice into our daily lives. Lovingkindness is a meditation practice that involves sending love, kindness, and goodwill to ourselves, loved ones, acquaintances, and even strangers.

 

The practice of lovingkindness can be used in various contexts, such as at work, with family and friends, and even with strangers. The benefits of this practice are profound: increased compassion, empathy, and resilience.

 

The mindfulness practice suggested for the week is to integrate Lovingkindness into the main rivers of our lives. We might choose to practice with our close family in our household, job, extended family, or our neighbors. We contemplate how we can practice lovingkindness with them specifically, imagining what actions or mindsets we can develop toward them. We then use mindfulness to remember our determination to practice Lovingkindness in this way, transforming the rivers of our lives into spiritual training. 

 

Loving Kindness practice:

May you have happiness and the causes of happiness. 

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.”

 

The Story of the monk Dhammarama

 

Upon hearing of the Buddha's upcoming Parinibbana in four months, most of the monks without high realizations were depressed and stayed close to the Buddha. However, the monk called Dhammarama aimed to attain enlightenment before the Buddha's passing. He ardently practiced Insight Meditation in solitude. Some of the other monks, however, misunderstood his behavior..

 

These monks brought Dhammarama to the Buddha, saying he showed no affection or reverence for him. Dhammarama explained to the Buddha that he aimed to attain enlightenment before Buddha’s Parinibbana and had been alone practicing Insight Meditation. Buddha was very pleased and said, "My son, Dhammarama, you have done very well. A bhikkhu who loves and respects me should act like you. Those who made offerings of flowers, scents and incense to me are not really paying me homage. Only those who practice the Dhamma are the ones who truly pay homage to me." Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

 

The bhikkhu who abides in the Dhamma, 

who delights in the Dhamma, 

who meditates on the Dhamma, 

and is ever mindful of the Dhamma, 

does not fall away from the Dhamma of the virtuous. (Verse 364)

 

At the end of the discourse Thera Dhammarama attained enlightenment.

 

References and Links

 

Buddha (1986).The Dhammapada: Verses and Stories. Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A. (Website). Edited by Editorial Committee, Burma Tipitaka Association Rangoon. Courtesy of Nibbana.com. For free distribution only, as a gift of dhamma.

https://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=364



Je Tsongkhapa. Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 2. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor, pp 41-43.

 

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