Aspects of practice: Cultivating the Culture of Awakening.

Start with a willingness to do sitting meditation and to go into “seclusion” and to “leave home”. In other words: be willing to sit and go deep into yourself (seclusion) and to give up notions, opinions, conventions, convictions, beliefs, identities and hope (leave home). Try to be open. This will simplify your life tremendously.

Listen to the guides and study the teachings. Try to comprehend that you and all beings really are:
Anatta – Without Self,
Anicca – Without Permanence,
Anutpada – Without Origen (Birth),
Animitta – Without Sign (Significance),
Apranihita – Without Need/Wish (fully complete),
Annamu – Without Name (Labels),
Sunyatta – Completely empty of any solid separate aspect (you are “without”), so in fact just pure “interbeing”.

Contemplation is important. Contemplate Sunyatta. It helps to understand and know this to be true, even if it is only intellectually. Put your faith in the dharma and trust the guides and teachers. Be their student. Learn to listen to, and trust the inner resonance you can feel with the teachings. There, in the inner resonance, you will find interbeing of student and teacher, of guest and host, of the unique and myriad forms and their movement and the eternal, unmoving formless.

Dare to go deep into suffering. The experiencing and witnessing of suffering (of self and others) opens our hearts and expands us. Try not to resist or escape. All suffering is mine, there are no “others”.

Do not try to free yourself from yourself. Instead, study the self. See the barriers and limitations that the self imagines and imposes on itself. That is how the self defines and solidifies itself. Dropping these imagined limitations, barriers and separations makes us see that the self, that we imagine to be so small and limited, actually reaches beyond the stars and lies within even the tiniest particle. The vast eternal truth is not hidden behind the forms and phenomena, it is within them, within me and directly accessible. It is me. I am presence, and I am present.

See this, experience this, for yourself. And acknowledge the mystery. Don’t take anyone’s word for it. The teachings, teachers and guides (if they are any good) always point you back at your own experience, back at yourself. There, you will find no final, definitive answers. But you will be able to drop many answers. Eventually you will find your truest teacher and true tuition within yourself, you inner teacher, your intuition.

Deepen this by sitting meditation. But also by walking, working, eating, cleaning, etcetera. Meditation does not have to end when you get up from your sitting. It can continue in any form. Make practice the core of your life. Make remembering this the core of your life. Learn to listen to the silence always present within everything. You can be silence even as you speak.

Share what is given with all who seek, whatever your task and position. Make your life revolve around remembering and always deepening your own practice and around the kindness, love and compassion you can generate and share with all beings without preferences and judgements. Embody Sunyata and manifest kindness and compassion. Be love and express love.

Don’t think you’re special. All beings are Buddha. And all Buddha’s from time to time forget that they are.