By Cassie Phillips
Buddhist beliefs and practices can be woven into everyday life.
To many people, Buddhism extends beyond religion into a way of life. Here are a few suggestions to help you live more mindfully and explore your faith in everything you do.
Take Walks Regularly
Walking is one of Buddha’s four postures, and it is a type of meditation that allows us to practice mindful awareness. In our everyday lives, be sure to take walks regularly while appreciating the natural beauty that surrounds us. Go for walks in different locations. Mobile apps such as AllTrails, which covers over 50,000 trails across Canada and the United States, make it easy for us to find new and beautiful routes.
Another way to explore the Buddhist faith is to take part in a walking retreat. These events put a new spin on meditation retreats, allowing us to practice mindfulness in groups while going on walks in stunning locations.
Make Friends with Other Spiritual People
One of the best ways to explore our faith is with other people, engaging in thoughtful discussion. It’s easier than ever to get in touch with these individuals as a wide variety of technology enables us to connect with people who share similar interests.
Around the world, there are over 1,300 Meetup groups for Buddhists. These range from meditation groups and book clubs to general hangouts, so you’re sure to be able to connect with other people who share similar interests and wish to engage with others about their shared faith.
Discover Buddhist Musicians
Modern artists are finding new ways to express their Buddhist faith using music. Jazz musician Jen Shyu describes Buddhist ceremonies and lessons in her songs while Kansho Tagai—also known as MC Happiness—is a monk/rapper who combines Buddhist sutras with Hip Hop. Both artists use different genres of music to propagate the Dharma, allowing Buddhists all over the world to connect with their faith in a new way. Jen Shyu’s music is available on Deezer, Spotify and YouTube.
Mobile technology allows us to practice mindfulness and meditation while on the go. So, if you’re struggling to find the time to explore your faith, apps can be incredibly useful. There are plenty of mobile apps that encourage us to practice meditation during the times of day when we’re least likely to engage in mindfulness:
- Buddhify 2 is an app that offers up 11 hours of custom meditation plans that target 15 parts of the day, such as work breaks and commutes. Some plans even target certain moods and situations like “Feeling Stressed.”
- Equanimity is a meditation tool that allows us to keep track of our sessions every day in order to get into a habit. Time, date and length of sittings can be recorded, and a notes section allows us to track our emotional states.
- Daily Buddhist Prayers, also available for Android users, teaches new prayers daily in a transliteration format. There is an audio guide for each prayer, along with English translations and descriptions.
What unique methods do you use to explore your Buddhist faith? Leave us a comment and let us know.
Cassie Phillips is a technology blogger and devoted student of Buddhism. She is always searching for new ways to use various tech to apply Buddha’s teaching in her everyday life. Check out her blog, secure thoughts.com.
Editor: Alicia Wozniak