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Buddhadharma : Fall 2010
33 fall 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly Contemplate Your Spiritual Practice reflect on your daily practice. are you practicing regularly and for as long as you would like? are you able to incorpo- rate all the practices you wish to master into your daily prac- tice? reflect deeply on what type of practitioner you really want to be. What are the obstacles that stand in your way? think about any tendencies you have that prevent you from practicing in this way. What is the main cause? Identify the things that cause you to put off practicing. Contemplate the Impermanence of Things to Which You Are Attached If you are attached to material objects in the world around you, reflect on their chang- ing nature. If you are attached to a person, reflect on him or her growing old and dying. actually envision his or her physical and mental changes. If you are attached to your own life, as we all are, go through your body from the ends of the hair on your head to the tips of your toes and try to find anything that is lasting or permanent in your body. Do a very thorough examination, looking from outside to inside to see if you can find anything that is unchanging. Do this until you are confident that you, too, are actually going to die, and that you cannot hold onto this life forever. Contemplate the Six Paramitas, or Transcendent Actions starting with this past month’s practice of generosity, look at how you practiced during the past month and how you have integrated practice into your daily life by examining how you have expressed generosity. Were you able to give love, emotional support, or material goods without attachment? Was your heart open unconditionally? If you compare this month to the previous month, was your gen- erosity different or the same? If you compare last year to this year, have you been more generous? less gen- erous? the same? If you are the same, what will you do to increase your expression of generosity? If you have been less generous, reflect on why have you changed. Contemplate This Past Month’s Spiritual Practice in Terms of the Remaining Paramitas In the same way, examine your progress in virtue and moral- ity; patience and tolerance; diligence and enthusiastic effort; Richard Haspray holds a photograph of himself as a young Zen student at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center ➤ continued page 88