Pali Chanting, Monks of the Metta Forest Monastery
Chanting connects us to the aspirations and motivations of all the Buddhists who have come before us. But for nonmonastics or practitioners coming from traditions that don’t emphasize chanting, it can be hard to know where to start. Metta Forest Monastery has an extensive library of Pali chants, including morning and evening chanting, reflections, and discourses, along with translation, pronunciation, and intonation guides for you to follow until the verses become a familiar flow.
“Practicing Presence,” Dora Kamau, Insight Timer
In this 10-minute practice, Dora Kamau, a meditation teacher and registered psychiatric nurse, calmly connects you to the present moment through guided breathing and body mindfulness. We create presence by building momentum through “being and not doing,” Kamau reminds us. Keep this grounding meditation on hand for days that feel like too much; soft background drumming connects us to our heartbeat, and Kamau gives us powerful prompts that ultimately lead us into being capable of creating peace and stillness for ourselves.
“Walking the Tightrope Towards Liberation,” Rime Buddhist Center
In this dharma talk, Lama Matthew Palden Gocha gives listeners a rundown of Buddhist ethics and the essential role that abandoning negative actions plays in eliminating suffering. He explains the ten negative actions we can avoid that, in turn, put our body, speech, and mind “in harmony with natural law.” We have chances throughout our day to regret negative actions and dedicate positive actions to benefit all beings. Lama Matthew also offers a short practice from the 19th-century master Patrul Rinpoche to do at the beginning or end of the day.
“No Water, No Moon,” Buddhist Temple of Toledo
In this Zen teaching, Reverend Karen Do’on Weik Sensei riffs on the tale of Chiyono, a 13th-century Japanese servant at a Zen convent who cannot read or write yet desires to practice zazen (Zen seated meditation). Do’on Sensei discusses the baggage that we each bring to practice and the doubts that this baggage can often cause us. But it’s our suffering and baggage that are pushing us toward awakening, constant companions that can accompany us through dark nights and help us develop the realization that everyone else is suffering too.
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