Listening to Dharma talks is an integral part of my practice, albeit in a very loose way.
I usually do not listen to an entire talk, but snippets of it instead, enough to energize my daily practice. Five, ten, fifteen minutes at the most. I may take notes. Thanks to modern media, right at our fingertips is the living wisdom from so many awesome teachers. I tend to stick to Ayya Khema. With more than 400 talks on Dharma Seed, I have plenty to choose from!
Those daily reminders from my favorite teacher are like gold for practice.
Last night, I picked up the following from one of Ayya Khema's talks. She was giving practical pointers for daily practice:
- Every day, meditate for one hour in the morning, one hour at night. If you can't do an hour yet, do at least 30 minutes and always shoot in the direction of more time, not less.
- Always sit on the same chair, at the same place.
- Set your timer.
- Sit until it rings, no matter what.
- Focus on the breath, and use labeling.
- Use books and tapes judiciously.
- Most helpful thing is at least one noble friend, someone who is just one step ahead of you along the path. That way, your friend remembers what it's like to be in your shoes.
Today, I remembered and I found my whole day suffused with Ayya Khema's pearls of wisdom. Nothing like a pep Dharma talk to keep one's motivation going . . .