Dharma in Daily Life
If you take into account twenty-four hours of the day, sometimes almost half is spent resting and sleeping. Out of the remainder, if you check what goes into Dharma practice, the time that has really become Dharma practice, except for a few instances of virtuous mind that may arise, very little is spent on practice. So much time goes into gossiping, into just talking nonsense; there is lots of non-virtuous speech, lots of hanging around, lots of resting, lots of sleeping. If you check the twenty-four hours you have available each day, not much time is spent practicing Dharma. Therefore, it becomes indispensable to have a method to transform these twenty-four hours so they become as much as possible Dharma practice.
First let’s begin with the moment you wake up. As soon as you open your eyes, just before doing anything, that is the moment when you generate a strong intention. Intention is a very powerful mental factor, so you should think, “This morning I am still alive. It is like a miracle that I didn’t die last night. It is due to the kindness of the Three Jewels. Therefore, as much time as is left of my life, this coming year, this month, this very day, I’m not going to waste a single moment.” You should generate this intention as soon as you open your eyes. Bring it about again and again in your mind. Motivate very strongly: “I’m not going to waste my time.” Make a strong intention, a strong decision that “whatever is left of my life, especially today, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to practice as much as I can.” Think this again and again.
Then once you are out of bed, if you take a shower, then not only think you are washing your exterior, but also visualize that you are purifying and cleaning your mind of delusions. Use your time to think that you are not just washing the body. It would be very good if while you shower or wash, you visualize cleaning away the delusions and recite the mantra of OM HANA HANA HUM PHAT (pronounced om hana hana hoom pay).
This article is an excerpt of the full article printed in Mandala.