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10-Week "Spiritual Practice Period"
starts August 1 until 10-10-10

From Brother ChiSing
July 28, 2010

Join in the conversation about the 10-week Spiritual Practice Period on our BLOG at the
Dallas Meditation Center Meetup.
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.


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:

  1. Upon waking
  2. Before breakfast
  3. After breakfast
  4. Before work
  5. Before lunch
  6. After lunch
  7. After work
  8. Before dinner
  9. After dinner
  10. At bedtime

2) Daily Meditation -- (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 silence).

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 growth.

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!

In gratitude to the Infinite Light of our Awakening,
Brother ChiSing



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