Minecraft Adventures B2G1 Free
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | August 14, 2015

    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: IMG The Blind Spot of United States History



    The most frequent question readers ask about An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States is "Why hasn't this book been written before?" I'm... Continue »
    1. $11.20 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$5.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Burnside Religion Eastern- Tibetan Buddhism

How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life

by

How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter One: Three Ways to Practice

Buddha's Enlightenment as a Model

According to some Buddhist schools, Shakyamuni Buddha first became enlightened in India in the sixth century b.c., through practice of the path. Others, however, believe that Shakyamuni Buddha had achieved enlightenment long before and that in his sixth century b.c. incarnation the Buddha was merely demonstrating the path. In Tibet, we take the latter view, and followers learn from his example how to practice in order to achieve enlightenment themselves.

In either case, we need to notice that:

  • Shakyamuni Buddha was born into a life of pleasure as a prince in an Indian royal family. At age twenty-nine, upon seeing the suffering of the world, he gave up his royal position, cut his own hair, left his family, and took on the morality of a monastic, adopting a system of ethical behavior.

  • For the next six years he engaged in ascetic meditation for the sake of achieving concentrated meditation.

  • Then, under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, he practiced special techniques for developing wisdom, and achieved enlightenment. He went on to teach for forty-five years, and at age eighty-one, he died.

In the Buddha's life story we see the three stages of practice: morality comes first, then concentrated meditation, and then wisdom. And we see that the path takes time.

Gradual Change

Developing the mind depends upon a great many internal causes and conditions, much like a space station depends on the work of generations of scientists who have analyzed and tested even its smallest components. Neither a space station nor an enlightened mind can be realized in a day. Similarly, spiritual qualities must be constructed through a great variety of ways. However, unlike the space station, which is constructed by many people working together, the mind must be developed by you alone. There is no way for others to do the work and for you to reap the results. Reading someone else's blueprint of mental progress will not transfer its realizations to you. You have to develop them yourself.

Cultivating an attitude of compassion and developing wisdom are slow processes. As you gradually internalize techniques for developing morality, concentration of mind, and wisdom, untamed states of mind become less and less frequent. You will need to practice these techniques day by day, year by year. As you transform your mind, you will transform your surroundings. Others will see the benefits of your practice of tolerance and love, and will work at bringing these practices into their own lives.

The Three Practices

Buddha's teachings are divided into three collections of scriptures:

  • The discipline of morality

  • The discourses on concentrated meditation

  • The manifest knowledge that explains the training in wisdom

In each of these scriptures, the main practice is described as an extraordinary state that is created from the union of (1) "calm abiding" (concentrated meditation) and (2) "special insight" (wisdom). But in order to achieve such a union, first we must lay its foundation: morality.

Order of Practice

Morality, concentrated meditation, and wisdom — this is the essential order of practice. The reasons are as follows:

  • In order for the wisdom of special insight to remove impediments to proper understanding, and to remove faulty mental states at their very roots, we need concentrated meditation, a state of complete single-mindedness in which all internal distractions have been removed. Otherwise the mind is too fractured. Without such one-pointed concentrated meditation, wisdom has no force, just as the flame of a candle in a breeze does not give off much illumination. Therefore, concentrated meditation must precede wisdom.

  • Single-minded meditation involves removing subtle internal distractions such as the mind's being either too relaxed or too tight. To do so we must first stop external distractions through training in the morality of maintaining mindfulness and conscientiousness with regard to physical and verbal activities — being constantly aware of what you are doing with your body and your speech. Without overcoming these obvious distractions, it is impossible to overcome subtler internal distractions. Since it is through sustaining mindfulness that you achieve a calm abiding of the mind, the practice of morality must precede the practice of concentrated meditation.

In my own experience, taking the vows of a monk called for fewer external involvements and activities, which meant that I could focus more on spiritual studies. Vows to restrain counterproductive physical and verbal activities made me mindful of my behavior and drew me to inspect what was happening in my mind. This meant that even when I was not purposely practicing concentrated meditation, I had to control my mind from being scattered and thus was constantly drawn in the direction of one-pointed, internal meditation. The vow of morality has certainly acted as a foundation.

Looking at the three practices — morality, concentrated meditation, and wisdom — we see that each serves as the basis for the next. (This order of practice is clearly demonstrated in the Buddha's own life story.) Therefore, all spiritual progress depends on a foundation of proper morality.

Copyright © 2002 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins,

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743427081
Subtitle:
The Way to a Meaningful Life
Editor:
Hopkins, Jeffrey
Author:
Dalai Lama, His Holiness the
Author:
Bstan-'Dzin-Rgya-Mtsho
Author:
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Author:
Lama, Dalai
Author:
Hopkins, Jeffrey PH. D.
Author:
Jeffrey, Ph.D. Hopkins
Author:
Hopkins, Jeffrey
Author:
Hopkins, Jeffrey
Publisher:
Atria Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Inspirational
Subject:
Buddhism
Subject:
Religious life
Subject:
Buddhism - General
Subject:
Buddhism - Tibetan
Subject:
Inspirational - General
Subject:
General Religion
Subject:
Religious life (buddhism)
Subject:
Buddhism -- Doctrines.
Copyright:
Series Volume:
#3
Publication Date:
January 2002
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
7.12 x 5 in 11.27 oz

Other books you might like

  1. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for...
    Used Book Club Hardcover $2.50
  2. The Tao of Pooh
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  4. Dalai Lamas Book of Wisdom Used Trade Paper $5.50
  5. Creating True Peace: Ending Violence...
    Used Trade Paper $8.95
  6. Healing Anger: the Power of Patience... Used Trade Paper $4.95

Related Subjects

Religion » Eastern Religions » Buddhism » Dalai Lama
Religion » Eastern Religions » Buddhism » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Buddhism » Tibetan Buddhism

How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Atria Books - English 9780743427081 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Divided into a series of distinct steps that will lead spiritual seekers of all faiths toward enlightenment, this book illuminates the specifics about how to practice morality from day to day, how to practice meditation, and how to practice wisdom.
"Synopsis" by , As human beings, we all share the desire for happiness and meaning in our lives. According to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the ability to find true fulfillment lies within each of us. In this very special book, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, Nobel Prize winner, and bestselling author helps readers embark upon the path to enlightenment with a stunning illumination of the timeless wisdom and an easy-access reference for daily practice.

Divided into a series of distinct steps that will lead spiritual seekers toward enlightenment, How to Practice is a constant companion in the quest to practice morality, meditation, and wisdom. This accessible book will guide you toward opening your heart, refraining from doing harm, and maintiaining mentaltranquility as the Dalai Lama shows you how to overcome everyday obstacles, from feelings of anger and mistrust to jealousy, insecurity, and counterproductive thinking. Imbued with His Holiness' vivacious spirit and sense of playfulness, How to Practice offers sage and practical insight into the human psyche and into the deepest aspirations that bind us all together.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

       
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.