How do you really practice Buddhism ?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

How do you really practice Buddhism ?

Postby tombecker89 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:10 pm

what is the best way to practice Buddhism ? Is it just about learning the Buddha's teachings , living it , and meditating ? or is there more to it ?
tombecker89
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 4:36 pm

Re: How do you really practice Buddhism ?

Postby daverupa » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:40 pm

Learning it, then living it - which involves meditation following an appropriate foundation - seems to be the short form description of the gradual training. Here's a longer version, which may go some way to answering your question:

MN 95 wrote:“Here, Bhāradvāja, a bhikkhu may be living in dependence on some village or town. Then a householder or a householder’s son goes to him and investigates him in regard to three kinds of states... When he has investigated him... then he places faith in him; filled with faith he visits him and pays respect to him; having paid respect to him, he gives ear; when he gives ear, he hears the Dhamma; having heard the Dhamma, he memorises it and examines the meaning of the teachings he has memorised; when he examines their meaning, he gains a reflective acceptance of those teachings; when he has gained a reflective acceptance of those teachings, zeal springs up; when zeal has sprung up, he applies his will; having applied his will, he scrutinises; having scrutinised, he strives; resolutely striving, he realises with the body the supreme truth and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom. In this way, Bhāradvāja, there is the discovery of truth; in this way one discovers truth; in this way we describe the discovery of truth.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4179
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: How do you really practice Buddhism ?

Postby Martin Po » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:56 pm

At least respect of precepts.
Martin Po
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:41 am

Re: How do you really practice Buddhism ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:07 pm

The Four p's:

Pariyatti - Learning, reading, studying
Patipatti - Practicing, meditation, pursuing the teachings, keeping the precepts
Pativedha - penetration, signifies the realization of the truth of the Dhamma;
Paññā - wisdom, living it in daily life

Pariyatti (studying) is good, but not enough by itself. Patipatti is good too, but also not enough by itself. You need both to get to pativedha and paññā.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8114
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: How do you really practice Buddhism ?

Postby reflection » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:27 pm

Hi,

I'd say there is no single answer to your question. Learning how to best practice Buddhism, in itself is a part of practicing Buddhism. It's not immediately obvious what we should develop, and how we should do this. For example, somebody says we should develop mindfulness, but if we don't have an experience of what being mindful really is like, we won't really understand. We have to develop the experiences that will shape our understanding of what we have to practice.

Also, how we practice most effectively is different for every person. It will depend on our personality and on where we are in the practice. As an example, for some people the precepts became natural and no more effort is required to behave skillfully with respect to them. (The 5 precepts of talking kindly, not hurting living beings, etc.) Then you could say the precepts are not really a practice anymore, can't you? But for others they may still require some more effort, some form of restraint. And this restraint varies from person to person. So the practice is different for everybody.

When we develop more understanding of ourselves, the things we should practice will become more evident. At a certain point we may even get some intuitive understanding how to practice the full eightfold path. But even then how to practice the "best" will be different every day. And at some days you may not even see it as a practice at all because it all becomes so naturally, while at other days you may think you sort of lost it.

Having said all that, I support the replies above. There is some order in how everybody will develop their practice. Starting with moral behavior (the precepts), leading to more awareness which can then lead to understanding. Or as the Buddha put it: Sila, samadhi, panna (virtue, meditation, wisdom)

:anjali:
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: How do you really practice Buddhism ?

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:44 pm

reflection wrote:Hi,

I'd say there is no single answer to your question. Learning how to best practice Buddhism, in itself is a part of practicing Buddhism. It's not immediately obvious what we should develop, and how we should do this. For example, somebody says we should develop mindfulness, but if we don't have an experience of what being mindful really is like, we won't really understand. We have to develop the experiences that will shape our understanding of what we have to practice.

Also, how we practice most effectively is different for every person. It will depend on our personality and on where we are in the practice. As an example, for some people the precepts became natural and no more effort is required to behave skillfully with respect to them. (The 5 precepts of talking kindly, not hurting living beings, etc.) Then you could say the precepts are not really a practice anymore, can't you? But for others they may still require some more effort, some form of restraint. And this restraint varies from person to person. So the practice is different for everybody.

When we develop more understanding of ourselves, the things we should practice will become more evident. At a certain point we may even get some intuitive understanding how to practice the full eightfold path. But even then how to practice the "best" will be different every day. And at some days you may not even see it as a practice at all because it all becomes so naturally, while at other days you may think you sort of lost it.

Having said all that, I support the replies above. There is some order in how everybody will develop their practice. Starting with moral behavior (the precepts), leading to more awareness which can then lead to understanding. Or as the Buddha put it: Sila, samadhi, panna (virtue, meditation, wisdom)

:anjali:

:goodpost:
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 1003
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: How do you really practice Buddhism ?

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:05 pm

To start with it is good to focus on practicing and understanding the 4 noble truths, the 5 precepts, and the 8fold path, above that a really strong base in meditation will probably be required to progress much with higher teachings.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 866
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alex123, Alobha, mikenz66 and 9 guests