Roshi: All are interconnected…the environment; rights of the dying; care of caregivers; education and medical care for peoples of the Himalayas; prison work; those living on the margins of society, particularly kids. How about Burma, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, our streets, our neighborhoods, our own minds. We don’t have to look far — and we should look far as well.
JC: How does your dharma practice inform your involvement on that issue?
Roshi: Buddhist practice is the grounding for this work, this life, this way.
JC: If you could invite people to join you in taking one action on that issue, what would it be?
Roshi: Cease consuming, practice generosity.
And speaking of dharma practice, today is November 11, 2011: 11/11/11. (Also, did anyone notice? This post went up at 11:11:11.) Superstitions, coincidences, and bad movies aside, today’s date reminded me of ngondro, or the preliminary practices of Tibetan Buddhism. Traditionally someone engaging in these practices does 100,000 prostrations, 100,000 repetitions of the Vajrasattva mantra, 100,000 mandala offerings, and 100,000 guru yoga practices. But because our minds are as difficult to tame as the wind (or perhaps a wild rhinoceros) and is frequently not in the appropriate mindset for practice, ngondro-practitioners end up doing 111,111 of each practice in order to make up for any mistakes or incorrect approaches. It seems, then, that 11/11/11 is the perfect day to honor both the ngondro practices themselves and those Tricycle readers out there who are currently doing the preliminary practices or have completed them already. A big thank you to them and to anyone who is practicing on the long path of the dharma; the Tricycle staff sends their gratitude and support.
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