Have you ever wondered why Buddhism emphasize practice? Why do we say Practice Buddhism? It sounds almost like a game or a skill that we perfect with practice.
So when we say practice Buddhism, what do we mean and what are we trying to achieve?
Gaining wisdom to perceive the Ultimate Truth and be freed from sufferings forever.
Our understanding of the world is flawed. We treasure stuff that is impermanent and strive to obtain them through wrong methods. This causes sufferings to ourselves and others.
In Buddhism, we aim to have the correct understanding and views. These understands and views usually run against the mundane world views.
However, Buddhist views generate wisdom that will help us realise the Ultimate Truth.
We therefore need practice to hold on to the Buddhist views.
How do we hold on to the correct views consistently?
We need a strong mind. One that is unwavering in times of challenge.
To strengthen our mind, we need to develop concentration or focus. This is when we need to practice meditation or chanting. Techniques that help focus our mind and make it strong.
To practice mind training, we need a good environment.
To have a good environment, (our external surrounding environment and our internal body) we watch our action, speech and thoughts. Make sure we only engage in positive ones.
To do that, we practice observing the various Buddhist precepts.
Just like a sport, we start off fumbling around, but as we practice, we become skilled.
Then our mind will be ready for the next leap to be free from sufferings.
So let’s practice as hard as we can manage. Practice precepts, concentration and wisdom. Buddhism is practical.
May all be well and happy.