10-Week "SPIRITUAL PRACTICE PERIOD"
starts on Sunday, August 1, 2010 (aka Lammas/Lughnasadh)
and concludes on 10-10-10 (plus Thich Nhat Hanh's birthday)
Dear mindful friends,
I am VERY excited to share with you this upcoming Spiritual
Practice Period from Sunday, August 1 through 10-10-10.
Please prepare yourselves for this practice this week. Re-prioritize
and re-arrange your schedule so that you can go deep into this
practice for the next 10 weeks. Your life will be radically
transformed as we prepare for the next wave in October of the Great
Shift that is taking place in consciousness worldwide.
Please attend the SPECIAL INTERFAITH BUDDHIST CEREMONY at this
Sunday's meditation at 5 pm at DMC, or the Monday meditation at 7 pm
in Grapevine, or the Tuesday meditation in Plano, this August 1, 2 and
3 (also, a Christian version of this ceremony will take place on
Wednesday, August 4 at 7 pm at DMC). During this "SPIRITUAL
EMPOWERMENT CEREMONY" you will be ritually and beautifully blessed,
empowered and initiated into this 10-week Spiritual Practice Period
with a mantra and 10 practices. You will also receive a sacred object
during this ceremony. To help us cover the cost of this ceremony,
each person is asked to make a donation of $10 (if you are unable to
give $10, we can ask another member to give an extra $10 on your
behalf). Also, please wear WHITE during the ceremony.
Here are the TEN SPIRITUAL PRACTICES:
1) 10*10*10 "Easy Amitabha Practice" -- This is the "default"
practice during these next 10 weeks. If you practice nothing else in
this list, this is the one to stay consistent with. Its effectiveness
will be weakened if you do not practice it consistently during these
10 weeks. This is an ancient spiritual practice from Chinese
Buddhism, and millions of practitioners, both past and present, can
testify to its power. I have adapted it for our modern Western
lifestyle. Here is the practice:
Chant a mantra (preferrably a 10-syllable mantra) 10 times during 10 periods of the day. The mantra I recommend is the 10-syllable mantra "OM NAMO AMITABHA BUDDHAYA" (Gratitude to the Infinite Light of Awakening). You can also chant a shorter version of this mantra by simply chanting "AMITABHA" (Infinite Light). Other variations are "OM AMITABHA HRIH" or "OM AMIDEVA HRIH" (Infinite Divine Reality). If you prefer the Divine Feminine manifestation of the Buddha, then you may chant "NAMO AVOLOKITESHVARAYA" (10 syllables) or "NAMO GUAN SHI YIN PUSA" (Quan Yin) or "OM MANI PADME HUM" (Jewel Lotus) which evokes the Buddha/Bodhisattva of Compassion, one of the major emanations of Amitabha.
Simply put, the practice is to chant "OM NAMO AMITABHA BUDDHAYA" 10 times (which takes about 1 minute) during 10 periods of every day for the next 10 weeks:
2) Daily Meditation
- Upon waking
- Before breakfast
- After breakfast
- Before work
- Before lunch
- After lunch
- After work
- Before dinner
- After dinner
- At bedtime
-- (preferrably at least 20 minutes twice a
day before breakfast and before dinner).
3) Weekly Sangha -- Attend group meditation every week. The
minimum is once a month.
4) Meditation Retreat -- Attend a meditation retreat sometime
during this 10-week period. It could be a weeklong retreat, or a
weekend retreat, or even just a daylong retreat, but the minimum is a
half-day retreat (at least 3 or 4 hours).
5) Nature -- Spend time regularly in Nature (preferrably in
6) Gratitude -- Practice reciting out loud for at least 3
minutes nonstop all that you feel grateful for, or all that is
positive, or at least all that is not bad. If you do this every day
alone or with a friend, you will notice a major shift in your energy.
The minimum is to practice this once a week, preferrably with a
friend, taking turns.
7) Journal-writing & Dharma-reading -- Buy a new journal
and write in it every day or at least once a week. And read good
spiritual Dharma books during this period. Immerse your mind in
positive teachings. And express yourself on paper.
8) Yoga / Qigong -- If you don't already practice Yoga or
Qigong, then this is the best time to start. Take a gentle Yoga class
or energizing Qigong class. There are several to choose from at the
Dallas Meditation Center and other places. You will be amazed at how
much this supports your meditation practice and your spiritual
9) Semi-Vegetarian Diet -- Consciously cut back on your meat
consumption. When eating meat, choose fish over other forms. The
next best would be poultry. Eliminate or cut back on pork and beef.
Eat more fresh vegetables. Perhaps take a vegetarian cooking class.
There are several great vegetarian restaurants, such as "Veggie
Garden" on Arapaho Rd. @ Custer Rd. in Richardson, Texas. Consider
having at least one vegetarian meal per day, and maybe one day a week
that is completely vegetarian.
10) "Dana" (Generosity) & "Seva" (Service) -- Consider
making a donation of $10 each week during this Spiritual Practice
Period to the Dallas Meditation Center. Or give a one-time gift of
$108. Or $1,000. And serve through volunteer work here or elsewhere.
Dana and seva are at the very heart of our practice. Amitabha!
Please note that starting in August, we will have Lunch Meditation
Hour on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 11:30 am - 12:30 pm with a
catered lunch afterwards. Also, during the first week of our
Spiritual Practice Period (August 1-7), I will be at the DMC every day
of the week and attending ALL yoga, meditation and qigong classes.
This is a "Mindfulness Marathon" and I invite you to join me!