Q. How can we check our practice when we can’t see a master?
A. Enlightenment is to realise that everything is Buddha, the true-Self and that every sound is a dharma talk. The ripeness of your practice is indicated by how ready you are to see and hear reality as Buddha and his dharma talk.
The best time for you to check your practice is when you are faced with humiliation, or difficulty in your life. How swayed and troubled you are by it is a barometer of how well you are practising and how ripe your practice is. The riper your practice is and the better you are practising, the less swayed or troubled you are because you regard such unfavourable situations as your practice or try to see them as empty.
Practising in a quiet place for many hours is not as good as staying calm for a moment when faced with an unjust treatment, difficulty, or a shameful situation. Trying to see such things as empty is much better practice than sitting silently in a quiet place. Saying hundreds of times that everything is empty is not as good as seeing a single thing as empty just one time. The purpose of Zen meditation is not for the former but for the latter.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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