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Buddhadharma : Fall 2017
fall 2017 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 47 practice The activity of noting, of course, is not limited to the sitting posture. In the Mahasi technique we practice it continuously, from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep. We abandon all hierarchical thinking, that sitting is more important than walking, which is more important than eating, and so on. The practice requires noting the day’s most seemingly insignificant actions, such as opening a door. Going Slowly In the Discourse on How to Establish Mindfulness, the Buddha discusses mind- fully doing such things as looking, dressing, grooming, eating, and so on. Per- forming these actions slowly and deliberately sharpens our attentiveness and makes “the way things are” easier to perceive, much like slowing down a film. As we slow down a film, we see things we don’t usually see, like the flick of a frog’s tongue as it catches a fly. In the same way, the more we slow down move- ment, the more easily we perceive how the body, heart, and mind interact. Spring 2007 Are We Really Meditating? by Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel If our practice consists of toughing it out, a time will come when we feel we have endured enough. We may decide to give it all up and go dancing—as if practice and enjoyment were at odds. In his book The Words of My Perfect Teacher, Patrul Rinpoche says we often practice “as if we are paying taxes.” We really just want to come home after work and watch TV, but we feel we should meditate. The purpose of meditation practice is to enjoy the natural vitality of the mind; practice is not something we should do out of a sense of duty. Who are we practicing for? The teacher? Are we doing this so we won’t go to hell? To be good? Who is the arbiter of “good,” anyway? The point of practice is not to be good, but to learn how to be at ease with our experience and deeply enjoy our mind and life. Spring 2013