In the previous article we described the important distinction between being Buddhist and being Buddha. Being Buddhist should not be a burden, far from it. As the title of the web site suggests, being Buddhist should be a spiritual path of happiness and joy.
To the different preferences of the practitioner, Buddhist practice can take many forms, including:
- Reciting mantras.
- Reciting formal prayers or sutras.
- Circumambulating stupas or statues.
- Pilgrimage to historical Buddhist places: where the Buddha taught such as Bodhgaya, where Buddhism flourish such as Nalanda University, where Tibetan Buddhism flourishes such as Dharamsala (India) or Kathmandu (Nepal), or other places of significance in Buddhism.
- Receive teachings through talks, reading, or listening / watching to recordings.
- Retreat in a group or go it alone in solitary retreat.
- Debate or deep study.
- Committing to the vows of a lay practitioner.
- Committing to the vows of a nun or monk.
- Offering service to other people, giving your time and skills to help others in practical hands-on ways.
- Practice in a way that is suitable to you.
The point is that there is a broad selection of practices available to ensure that Buddhism is a fun experience, no matter your predisposition or preferences.
The real practice is what you do each day, with a pure, positive motivation to perform each action to benefit every other being that you come into contact with. For example, a day at work could involve practicing patience with an angry customer on the phone or making somebody a cup of tea. In this way, every activity becomes a Buddhist practice with the right motivation for the happiness of all beings.