Friday, June 17, 2011

Many Kinds of Practices

Traveling with me, a hard copy of U Tejaniya's book, Awareness Alone is Not Enough - also available for free on the Web. A gem of simple and profound wisdom, including this how to guide to the different practices for each personality types:

If you want to practice with effort, think all the good things you can, say all the good things you can, and do all the good things you can. That's for the people who are effort oriented. For them this is very effective because they like to be working.

People who are awareness oriented, people who are very alert, sharp, very aware, should spend more time practicing awareness. 

Those who are wisdom oriented can make more use of the ideas of Right View and Right Thought.

People who have very good concentration can begin by doing samatha and then switch to vipassana. 

Faith oriented people can start by contemplating the qualities of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. 

The Buddha taught so many kinds of practices because there are so many different types of personalities. 

Reflecting upon my practice, I find that I naturally dwell in awareness, first and foremost. Concentrating on the breath (or the body some times) is only a technique to draw the mind in the present, over and over again, for as many times as necessary to settle the mind. Within that place of awareness, comes wisdom, and the discernment from adopting right view and right thought. Last is right effort, purifying the mind each time defilements and unwholesome thoughts arise. And occasionally, I do reflect on the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, as inspirations for the practice. 

Hence, my inclination to reframe U Tejaniya's last statement:

The Buddha taught so many kinds of practices, because depending on the time and place, the mind has different needs, that require different types of practices. 

What is your experience of practice? How does it align with U Tejaniya's teaching?

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