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Br. ChiSing leading a workshop in Hong Kong, 2005
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"Two Aspects to Our Practice"
Transcript of a talk delivered by Br. ChiSing
Awakening Heart Sangha (Community of Mindful Living)
March 22, 2007 - Dallas, Texas

There are two aspects to our practice. One is to realize and to trust that we already are what we want to become. And it helps to relax into the practice, into life, into our true nature. So if we are the kind of person that is always beating up on ourselves and condemning ourselves, and judging ourselves, we might want to reemphasize the first aspect of our practice.

In the Christian tradition, this teaching is expressed in the word grace, having faith and trust in the grace of the Divine, that there is nothing that we can do to alter the fact that we are loved and embraced. And in the Buddhist tradition we express that in the teaching that we already are what we want to become. Nothing can change that fact. We already are a Buddha. We already are enlightenment itself.

... realize and trust that we already are what we want to become... The second aspect of our practice, then, is to awaken to that truth, through diligence, right effort, spiritual practice, mindfulness, meditation. In the Christian tradition this teaching is expressed as discipleship; to follow the anointed one, and to live a life of holiness and love and wisdom and truth; not just simply believing, but acting on it. And in the Buddhist tradition this is expressed in our practices of diligently coming back to meditation, keeping the mindfulness trainings of non-violence and generosity, and sexual responsibility, mindful communication, and healthy consumption; to come regularly together at Sangha to support each other, to express our spirituality in concrete ways in the world through our right action and right livelihood in the world and mindful parenting.

So if we're the kind of person then, perhaps we are a bit lazy and a little bit too carefree, we might want to reemphasize the second aspect of our practice and come back over and over again to the discipline of meditation, mindfulness training, Sangha, right action, right livelihood, and spiritual education.

... awaken to that truth through diligence, right effort, spritual practice, mindfulness, meditation ... Our practice has so many different layers about it, even if ultimately it is only one thing, one reality. But that one reality is expressed in many layers and ways in this relative reality that we live in in our human story. So, part of our practice is to reach a place of peace in our hearts through mindfulness and through breathing; through coming back to the here and now.

With that peace can come clarity in our decision making processes, and in our planning processes. Part of our practice is to realize that there is an aspect of our mind that is much deeper and wiser than just the surface intellectual mind that likes to plan. So we come back to that deeper mind that can give much more clarity and insight in our decision making process; and when we come to rest in that as our identity, the greater true nature, then the planning mind, instead of being the master over us, then is our servant. We can still use this everyday mind, but now it is not controlling us. Rather it now has its rightful place in serving us, serving our true nature.

But deeper than the happiness and the peace that we may find through this practice, deeper than that, is waking up to who we really are. Not identifying with the small separate self, not even identifying with the happy separate self, or the peaceful separate self, but waking up altogether from that identity; realizing our vast true nature which is one with all. But to get to that realization deeply we usually have to realize first, go from unhappy, disjointed, frenetic self to happy, peaceful, stable self. Then from that place we can let go of that self-identity altogether and realize the vastness, true nature, Nirvana.

In truth, our practice is always about mindful parenting. We are our own mothers and fathers practicing spiritual parenting of our heart, of our mind, of our bodies, of our lives, of our world. We are the father and mother of all things. We are the Buddha, caring for all beings.

Transcribed by Glenda Gill

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