Four Circumstances For Practice


There are four circumstances that you can use as practice. First, if you have a practice space, then you can practice with your body in that space. Sitting meditation regularly brings you to a place where you see and remember what is most fundamental. That's body-practice.

Seeing what is most fundamental doesn't depend solely, though, on what you're doing with your body. When you get up from your meditation space, your activity changes, so your metabolism changes, and your feelings change. Trying to keep the feeling you had when you were meditating is like trying to chase after the toothpaste you use after you spit it down the drain. Your teeth are already clean, why mourn the toothpaste?

Next, then, is mind-practice. Mind practice allows you to find anchor-points in simple routine daily activities and use them as practice. Folding laundry, cleaning, even walking -- when you do these, do them wholeheartedly and completely. Then you learn to see your true nature in your daily ordinary activities.

Next is life-practice. All phenomena have their own particular shape, their own particular color, weight, light, sound, scent, texture, length. If you see your mind in all these phenomena, then that's life practice. Everyday mind is Zen mind. You will discover this, as you apply yourself. You find your wisdom in the shape of things around you.

Student-practice is learning to see all sentient beings as our teachers. All beings have mind-light. If you see that in all beings, then you become their student. The mind of a student is diligent, concerned, caring, connected, generous, grateful and so on. This also belongs completely to you.

These are not four practices, just four circumstances you can use for practice. The more you apply yourself in each of them, the more you find your heart everywhere. Nobody can take that from you.