on practice

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    The Prince and the Elephant Paid Member

    The Jataka Tales comprise a collection of 550 stories recounting the previous incarnations of the Buddha. Together, the tales illustrate the perfection of virtues on the path to enlightenment. More »
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    The Wisdom of Giving Paid Member

    What is dana? Why do we practice it? What is the “right” way to give? What are some benefits of and obstacles to giving? Dana (“giving”) is the most fundamental of all Buddhist practices. It is the first topic in the Buddha’s graduated talks, the first step on the bodhisattva’s path to perfection, and the first of the ten paramitas (perfections) in the Mahayana tradition. It therefore sets the tone for all that follows in the spiritual journey. More »
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    Breathing Paid Member

    We begin with breath, opening to the feeling or the sensation of each breath, each movement of the rise and fall or in and out, without any expectation of how any particular breath should be, not trying to force it into a particular pattern, not thinking that there should be any one kind of sensation. It is a settling back into each moment, with a great deal of care and precision, and being open to what is revealed in that particular breath. What is the sensation of this rising, or this in-breath? What is the feeling of it? Is it long or short, is it rough or smooth, is it deep or shallow, is there heaviness or pressure or tingling? More »
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    Breathing Paid Member

    There are many good methods of concentration bequeathed to us by our predecessors in Zen. The easiest for beginners is counting incoming and outgoing breaths. The value of this particular exercise lies in the fact that all reasoning is excluded and the discriminative mind put at rest. Thus the waves of thought are stilled and a gradual one-pointedness of mind achieved. To start with, count both inhalations and exhalations. When you inhale concentrate on “one”; when you exhale, on “two”; and so on, up to ten. Then you return to “one” and once more count up to ten, continuing as before. If you lose the count, return to “one.” It is as simple as that. More »
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    Breathing Paid Member

    And how, monks, does a monk abide contemplating the body as body? Here a monk, having gone into the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, sits down cross-legged, holding his body erect, having established mindfulness before him. Mindfully he breathes in, mindfully he breathes out. Breathing in a long breath, he knows that he breathes in a long breath, and breathing out a long breath, he knows that he breathes out a long breath. Breathing in a short breath, he knows that he breathes in a short breath, and breathing out a short breath, he knows that he breathes out a short breath. More »
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    Breathing Paid Member

    ONE OF THE MOST WELL-KNOWN, popular and practical examples of "meditation" connected with the body is called "The Mindfulness or Awareness of in-and-out breathing" (anopanosati). It is for this "meditation" only that a particular and definite posture is prescribed in the text. For other forms of "meditation" given in this sutta, you may sit, stand, walk or lie down, as you like. But, for cultivating mindfulness of in-and-out breathing, one should sit, according to the text, "cross-legged, keeping the body erect and mindfulness alert." More »