Thread: My Independent Buddhist Practice

  1. #1
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Bellflower, California

    My Independent Buddhist Practice

    I have an independent practice although I used to be involved with sanghas in the Nichiren, Pure Land, and Zen traditions. One of the sanghas really emphasized using core Buddhist concepts as a way to impact your everyday life by helping you pause and reflect before you react through the use of mental recitation as a form of reflection (I chose to use the Three Refuges), and as a lens to interpret those experiences. Since I am physically disabled I wanted to do a practice that was "easier" for me to do (without causing unnecessary physical pain) and helped me to become a better person in everyday life.

    Here is my elevator speech that I came up with:

    People find life to be frequently unsatisfactory because we do not understand that nothing exists independently of the interdependent workings of cause and effect. We want things to be as we want them to be and not as they really are. We refuse to acknowledge that things are always changing and not staying the same. We then react out of ignorance, anger, or fear which causes unnecessary suffering for ourselves and others. Knowing this, we must learn to trust in the Buddha, what the Buddha taught, and the community of those who put those teachings into practice. We do this by mindfully reciting Taking Refuge in the Three Treasures: "Buddham Saranam Gacchami. Dhamman Saranam Gacchami. Sangham Saranam Gacchami." throughout the day, as well as the study and application of core Buddhist teachings such as the Four Noble Truths, Three Poisons, Eightfold Path, Three Dharma Seals, Six Worlds, codependent origination, etc. in everyday life.

    I also find mindfulness on the breath, Buddho meditation, and choiceless awareness (shikantaza) to be helpful supplementary practices.

    Is everyone out there practicing within a certain tradition's parameters or have any of you cobbled together your own independent practice too?

  2. #2
    Moderator justusryans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Buckingham, Virginia
    I tend to honor the Thai forest tradition as taught by the Ven. Ajahn Chah and his students. They have a lot of wisdom to offer. I do read other teachers if I think they have something that I can learn from.

    With Metta

  3. #3
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    I came to Buddhism from experimenting with meditation and happened to live near to a Triratna Buddhist Centre so went there for many years. As a Western Buddhist centre they tended to explore most Buddhist practices so gave me lots of insight into different traditions. It helped me develop my own independent practice, mostly based around vipassana and mindfulness practices, although a visualised Metta Bhavana using white light is my fall-back meditation these days.

  4. #4
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
    Began with Vietnamese Zen while stationed in Vietnam during the war. Visited shortly with Tibetan sangha back in states. Back to Zen with Tich Nat Han study in Zen meditation group. Migrated to Laoshin Theravada. Spent several years working with Theravadan Forest Ministry Monk stationed in Ceylon / Sri Lanka. Now pretty much secular with residual manifestations of forest ministry Theravada.

    Will eventually abandon all boats after crossing the stream.

    Last edited by Olderon; 03 Feb 20 at 15:38.

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