The Dhammapada and this Course as a Daily Spiritual Practice
The Dhammapada has been a gift to generations, offering numerous gifts to those who approach it. Reading the Dhammapada daily as contemplative practice gives inspirations and insights into how to live one’s life, and becomes a form of reflection on how the principles may be operating in one’s life. Through its teachings one can receive guidance on how to move any aspect of one’s life from where it is to instead being the embodiment of Buddha’s teachings.
The Dhammapada speaks to the power of the mind, the process of manifestation and most importantly, how the mind impacts experiencing and how experiencing can be transcended by transcending the mind. The Dhammapada is a “how to” manual rather than conceptual discourse. All the great teachers left teachings on how reach that state which they were experiencing, and the Dhammapada offers one such teaching on how to be the Light, how to realize one’s Buddha Nature. While there are instances of sudden enlightenment, such as that of Ramana Maharshi, more often, the path to enlightenment unfolds more gradually through intense devotion and commitment. This was the experience of the Buddha.
The course includes daily lessons and spiritual practices to make the teachings of the Buddha directly experiential and alive in one’s life. These lessons include a morning meditation, a contemplation to hold in mind and apply to everything that arises throughout the day, self-inquiry exercises, the opportunity to comment and hear from others’ experiences of the day, and a daily reflection. This format not only develops an unconditional spiritual application of the lessons of the Dhammapada, but also helps one develop a daily spiritual practice whereby one’s meditation is not compartmentalized but instead integrated with all of life experience. As one develops these daily spiritual habits of meditation, contemplation, and self-reflection one’s life becomes one’s spiritual practice.
Here’s a 2 minute video I created on how the Dhammapada is a “how to” manual