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How to practice properly in lay life

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  • Joy Bose
    Dear Venerable monks, I am not sure if this question has been asked before. If so, I apologise. I get conflicting feelings about my meditation practice. As I
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 26, 2004
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      Dear Venerable monks,
      I am not sure if this question has been asked before. If so, I apologise.
      I get conflicting feelings about my meditation practice. As I am a
      student in UK university I have got lots of distractions and sometimes
      feel that only a monk can make any real progress. The other problem is
      that I dont have time to attend a 14 day retreat, which I have seen
      recommended many times, and am unsure if I will get such a chance
      later in life. I try to do meditation sometimes, but cant get myself
      to stay for more than half an hour, that too quite infrequently. Only
      other way I satisfy my appetite for Dhamma is by reading many books,
      but not being able to change my character much or defeat my weaknesses
      despite all reading makes me sad.
      On the other hand the possibility of not being able to practice
      Buddhism back at home in India, where my family is not Buddhist, also
      bugs me.
      Do you have any advice for my meditation practice?
      Many thanks and with metta,
      Joy
    • Bhikkhu Pesala
      Yes, it is very difficult, perhaps impossible to practise meditation properly amid worldly distractions. It is possible only if one had a lot of previous
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 27, 2004
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        Yes, it is very difficult, perhaps impossible to practise meditation
        properly amid worldly distractions. It is possible only if one had a lot
        of previous practice, or inherent wisdom and detachment. One should take
        any opportunity that comes up to go on retreat. If not for a ten-day
        course, then attend a one-day or weekend retreat.

        Reading Dhamma books is good, but it is easy to use it as a substitute for
        practice. Association with the wise is a great blessing. I know from my
        own experience that I am far more likely to practice meditation seriously
        if I associate with others who practice meditation, than if I stay alone
        or associate with non-meditators.

        If you are looking for it, you will get a chance to attend a short retreat
        somewhere. There are lots of monasteries in the UK, and several meditation
        centres.
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