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Summer Solstice 2010: 10-Season Practice (20 min.) MP3
"Summer Solstice 2010: 10-Season Practice"
Transcript of a talk delivered by Brother ChiSing
Awakening Heart (Community of Mindful Living)
June 20, 2010 - Dallas, Texas

Summer Solstice 2010: 10-Season Practice

Tomorrow is Summer Solstice 2010. And what is interesting about this particular Summer Solstice is that according to my calculations if I calculate correctly, it leaves us exactly ten Seasons before December 21, 2012. Which is possibly a symbolic date of a great shift or great choice that humanity has to make.

I don't think there is anything guaranteed about shifting. I think it is all up to us, but, and I'm not sure about the literalness of it either but I think it is a very powerful symbolic date because sometime in the next few years we have to make a decision how we are going forward as a species on this planet, and if we are going to shift by wonderful positive changes or disastrous changes, or maybe both. We have the choice to make right here, right now, we have ten Seasons, and this is the year 2010 and according to some of these teachers who talk about the cycles that are increasing up to the point of 2012, there is something that is supposed to happen under a small shift in October of this year, which just happens to be the tenth month.

So I've decided after meditating on it and going to the bookstore and seeing this book called "10-10-10," that I would make a special celebration on 10-10-10 this year, which happens to be on Sunday. So we can do it here [Awakening Heart "Serenity Sundays"]. So, we have ten more Seasons [beginning] in this year 2010, and on 10-10-10 we will embody that shift as we continue to increase toward the shifting that is taking place.

What came to me during meditation was to offer you ten practices to do during these ten Seasons. But not all ten have come to me yet, so I am still meditating on it (laughter). So I just want you to know within your own being and your own heart and you see what the Inner-Buddhist says for you to create your own ten practices. But in the meantime, let me share three things with you. Three ways you can practice, three levels of practice, and remember enlightenment is not a competition. We practice at whatever level that we feel drawn to, and that is exactly perfect, exactly what we need to do.

So I am going to just categorize, and I wrote this in a letter a few days ago. There's the Sangha level of practice, the Dharma level of practice and the Buddha level of practice. In the Sangha level of practice, you practice as much generosity as you can, as much ethical living as you can. You practice as much mindfulness in daily life as you can and you practice as much compassion as you can. That's easy! Well… (laughter). Also in the Sangha level of practice if you want to go at the little bit more intense part of the Sangha level of practice, then you commit yourself at coming to group community of meditation at least once or twice a month. And you commit to meditating on your own at home at least once or twice a week. So that's at a little bit more of the deeper level of the Sangha level. But, this is something I think everyone can do. I think everyone can do this. So if you can do this faithfully for these ten Seasons I think that you will have a very powerful transformation in your life and will be able to affect transformation in those around you as well.

Now, let's say you have been doing that for a while already. Okay, now let me encourage you to practice at the Dharma level of practice. In the Dharma level of practice, after you've had a good foundation of the Sangha level of practice, is to make the choice and commitment and the follow-through to do all that you have already been doing in the Sangha level but then also add that you will be coming to the meditation community more regularly, perhaps once a week or more, if you like, and that you will practice meditation everyday at home. You can skip one day a week, that's okay, you can have your little lazy day… I do sometimes (laughter) but everyday. For those of you who are at the beginning stage of the Dharma level try 20-30 minutes of meditation everyday. Now if you want to go a little bit deeper at the Dharma level, you can do it twice a day, 20-30 minutes. And actually if you ever get to that point where you are doing it twice a day, 20-30 minutes, you will start to see that your practice is no longer simply devotional but starting to be extremely transformational. It's not just devotional, but also very transformational and you start to see that cycle happen. I recommend right before breakfast and right before dinner, but do whatever you can according to your schedule. Every twelve hours approximately is really wonderful because it puts your whole body and mind into that great cycle. Originally it was because of the sunrise and sunset so it puts you in touch with nature. Sunrise meditation, sunset meditation. Sunrise, sunset. You see, put yourself in that cycle of nature. The original community always got together twice a month for special meditations, and what happens of that — the new moon, the full moon, the new moon the full moon, so again the original community always in touch with nature. The new moon, the full moon. Sunrise, sunset.

Once you do that for a year, and if you have already been doing that, let me encourage you to go down to the Buddha level of practice. Which is to do all that you've been doing in the Sangha level and the Dharma level and now add this. That you will not only attend Sangha, but help with the Sangha once a week, at least. Maybe even start to share the Dharma with others, start to be trained in leadership, but mostly to really support the Sangha, deeply, in every way you can, and then in your daily practice, to increase the meditation time to 40-60 minutes, maybe 40-60 minutes once a day and then the deeper level of the Buddha level of practice would be to do that twice a day, 40-60 minutes in the morning, 40-60 minutes in the evening. Again, perhaps before breakfast, before dinner, or around sunrise, sunset. But whatever works for your schedule.

So I am committing myself to be more diligent in doing that actually starting tomorrow. So I hope to have all of your support. It kind of ebbs and flows because there are days... there are some Seasons where its so easy and delightful to do an hour in the morning, an hour at night, and then there are other days and Seasons where I am just pulling my teeth (laughter). But I really want to dedicate myself to put during these ten Seasons, to really be fully there in my practice and that to encourage you to practice at whatever level that you're wanting to practice at. Buddha level, Dharma level, Sangha level..they're actually all the same. There is no competition.

10-week spiritual practice period
But let me encourage you in the Sangha level of practice, chant "Amitabha" ten times, everyday. You can do the full matra: "Om, Namo Amitabha Buddhaya". That is ten syllables. "Om Namo Amitabha Buddhaya" (stressing 10 syllables). Ten syllables matra, ten times, each day. And, ten times each time you do it. So, that's 10-10-10 right there. Ten syllables, ten times, at ten times of the day. And let me suggest to you that you do it these ten times of the day. Number one - upon waking up - immediately upon waking up (chants: "Om Namo Amitabha Buddhaya, Om Namo Amitabha Buddhaya." Silently, in your mind or out loud if you want. It just sets the tone of the day right away. Don't have a radio alarm please, don't do that. Turn that off (laughter). Throw it outside or take a hammer and smash it to pieces (laughter). Don't allow your mind to be inundated by all the world's craziness right when waking up after a restful sleep. Don't do that. Have a different kind of alarm system. Okay, or maybe nice music when it comes on, but not news, please, no, no, no. Don't do any listening to the news until after your meditation (laughter). No news until after meditation, okay? So, Om Namo Amitabha Buddhaya upon waking, right before breakfast, right after breakfast, right before work, right before lunch, right after lunch, right after work, right before dinner, right after dinner, and right before bedtime. Ten times.

And if you're not the kind of person that is really ready to meditate a lot, that's okay! You don't have to! If you just do that you will have powerful transformations occur in your life because other people are meditating on your behalf. Other Buddha's are meditating on your behalf. You just do whatever you can at whatever level you are at and just faithfully with your heart. So, I do extra meditations in my life because I know that its not only benefiting me but I am offering the extra meditation for someone out there in the world somewhere who is not doing enough meditation, and that's okay. I am offering it to them, so I am helping them and that is the whole point of our practice is we help each other. We offer our practice to each other, we offer the fruits of the merits of our practice to all beings. So that wherever people are at, it's okay, its completely okay where they are it because they are being supported. And once they mature through and then they can be strong enough to start practicing, then they start supporting others, too. You see? We are all just one Family, Brothers and Sisters, young little Brothers and Bisters, and older Brothers and Sisters and we all help each other.

So, 10-10-10, Om Namo Amitabha Buddhaya…

Transcribed by Marche Gallagher

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