Everything that happens in your life is an opportunity to practice mindfulness or compassion (often both). We want to resist the idea that “These parts of my life are spiritual and these other ones are not.”


By Daniel Scharpenburg

This is important to remember because people get confused and lost sometimes.

The path of the Bodhisattva isn’t something we’re just doing on the cushion or in the temple. Well, maybe it is, but it isn’t supposed to be. It’s supposed to be something we are working with in every part of our lives. I think this barely requires explanation, but I’ll try anyway.

There’s an old image I used to hear about. It was the image of a guy who goes to a brothel on Saturday night and has a really good time, staying up really late and engaging in all sorts of activities. Then, on Sunday morning he goes to church with his wife and kids, wearing the best clothes and judging the other families and feeling great about himself.

We want to try not to be like that guy.

I’m not just being a Buddhist when I’m in a temple, sitting, writing, teaching, volunteering at a local charity…it would be easy to say those are the times when I’m being a Buddhist but that’s not what we’re talking about. I’m also trying to manifest awakening when I’m talking to my kids, when I’m at work, when I’m driving, when I’m doing the dishes….you get the idea.

When I am talking to my kids is a big one. I think a lot of people struggle with mindful parenting.

Everything that happens in your life is an opportunity to practice mindfulness or compassion (often both). We want to resist the idea that “These parts of my life are spiritual and these other ones are not.” Master Lin Chi said, “If you love the sacred and despise the ordinary, then you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion.” These divisions are things we’re creating ourselves. I think it helps us to understand that.

Don’t love the sacred and despise the ordinary.

It’s all sacred.


Photo: (source)

Editor: Dana Gornall



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Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is a Dharma Teacher and Meditation Coach in Kansas City. He teaches at the Open Heart Project, an online meditation community. He has been trained with a wide variety of teachers. He received Meditation Instructor Training and Certification at the Rime Buddhist Center and was recognized as a teacher in the Zen tradition by the Dharma Winds Zen Order. His main focus is on mindfulness practices rooted in the earliest zen teachings and compassion practices rooted in the Bodhisattva tradition. He has taken Bodhisattva Vows and the Brahmajala Precepts.
Find out more about Daniel here and connect with him on Facebook
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