The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gratitude Practice--Day 5

Welcome to Day 5 of our 7 Day Gratitude Practice

"Do not overlook one drop in the ocean of virtue by entrusting it to others.  Cultivate a spirit which strives to increase the source of of goodness upon the mountain of goodness."
--from Instructions to the Cook, by Dogen Zenji

Begin the morning with your Grounding practice (taking refuge in the True Self) at your Centering space.
Sit 5-10 minutes (or longer) in silent meditation, undisturbed.

Naikan: Seeing With The Mind's Eye reflection
"Inside looking" or introspection
Naikan is a Japanese method of structured self-reflection that promotes self-knowledge and clarity, with ourselves, our relationships and the essential nature of being a human being.
Naikan was developed by Ishin, a devout Buddhist of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Japan.  As he practiced the rigorous and difficult techniques, he sought to offer something more available to lay practitioners--Naikan can be shared widely with others.

Today we practice Naikan.
This can still be an intensive assignment, so please remember that we are infinitely kind to ourselves throughout our retreat, recognizing that we sometimes hurt ourselves and others, and that it cannot be helped.
What we can do however, is vow not to intentionally cause harm to ourselves and others.

With your journal in hand, as yourself the following questions:

1.  What have I received in the past 5 days?
2.  What have I given in the past 5 days?
3.  What troubles and difficulties have I caused for myself/ others?

Allow your thoughts to flow freely and record whatever comes to mind, without edit.  Be as honest as you possibly can be.
Finish your journaling with a record of 5-10 things for which you are grateful, different from yesterday.
Finally end your day by offering yourself loving-kindness, using the Metta prayer from Friday.

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