How to Practice Dharma in Daily Life
In this teaching, Phakchok Rinpoche explains how we can bring our dharma practice into our daily lives. He repeatedly emphasizes the importance of faith and trust in the teachings of the Buddha and our kind teachers. As practitioners have many different capacities and inclinations, there are a huge variety of practices and methods to transform our minds. Rinpoche reminds us that the amount we know, study, or practice is less important than our transformation. If we find ourselves becoming more humble, less proud, more compassionate, and more devoted, then our practice, even if it is only reciting the name of Buddha Amitabha is sufficient for us. Likewise, if we have spent months in meditation and find ourselves haughty, arrogant, and uncaring, then our practice is not sufficient.
Rinpoche explains that the foundation or ground of our practice needs to be a recognition of the innate, ultimately pure nature of our minds. Without trust in this, we will not really believe in the transformative power of the Buddha’s teachings. We have to believe that we can transform our minds and conquer our obscurations.
Phakchok Rinpoche emphasizes two essential points that we need to remain constantly aware of in order for our practice to flourish:
- First, we must have unshakeable faith in the inherent purity of our mind. Its nature is fundamentally pure.
- Secondly, we must have a deep desire and motivation to transform our minds, to free ourselves of our conceptual and emotional obscurations in order to benefit all sentient beings
Rinpoche suggests that we practice reciting “my nature is pure” as part of our daily practice for at least one month to allow us to internalize this essential point. Observe how this makes you feel, do you feel a change in your mindset as you engage with your daily activities?