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Interreligious dialogue : Spiritual Practice > About practicing

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I n the pursuit of the Way [Buddhism] the prime essential is sitting (zazen). . . . By reflecting upon various 'public-cases' (koan) and dialogues of the patriarchs, one may perhaps get the sense of them but it will only result in one's being led astray from the way of the Buddha, our founder. just to pass the time in sitting straight, without any thought of acquisition, without any sense of achieving enlightenment -this is the way of the Founder. It is true that our predecessors recommended both the koan and sitting, but it was the sitting that they particularly insisted upon. There have been some who attained enlightenment through the test of the koan, but the true cause of their enlightenment was the merit and effectiveness of sitting. Truly the merit lies in the sitting.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 3969 | 
From the Shobo genzo zuimonki, pp. 98-9, translated in De Bary (ed.), Sources of Japanese Tradition, op. cit., P. 253 







A s regards the method of acquiring practical spiritual knowledge, if you find a certain practice increases your evil passions and tends you toward selfishness, abandon it, though it may appear to others virtuous. And if any course of action tends to counteract your evil passions, and to benefit sentient beings, know that to be the true and holy path, and continue it, even though it should appear to others to be sinful.




Buddhism / Mahayana 3746 | 
Evans-Wentz, 1971; pp. 259, 261, 262, 270, 271 







A ccustomed long to applying each new experience to my own spiritual growth,
I have forgotten all creeds and dogmas.





Buddhism / Mahayana 3741 | 
Evans-Wentz, 1971;pp 245-247 







A ccustomed long to studying, by myself, my own experiences,
I have forgotten the need to seek the opinions of friends and brethren.





Buddhism / Mahayana 3740 | 
Evans-Wentz, 1971;pp 245-247 







T herefore, offer to Me all your works and rest your mind on the Supreme. Be free from vain hopes and selfish thoughts, and with inner peace fight your fight.




Hinduism 3622 | 
3:30; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1962 







S piritual practice without knowledge is like a wide open garden. It may yield fruit and flowers, but nothing will stop the animals from devouring the fruit and trampling the flowers. Unless they are surrounded by a wall of knowledge, devotion and inspiration are easily lost, or can even turn into hypocrisy, spiritual pride or arrogance. In a sense the religious law and the mystical Sufi path are like a pair of wings. One alone can accomplish nothing. You need both. You must cleanse yourself of outward material impurities and also purify your inner being of impurities like pride, hypocrisy, dishonesty, anger, greed and love of fame and status.




Islam / Sufism 3495 | 
Love is the Wine edited by Dr. Robert Frager. 







I f we were willing to make even small efforts, we would not suffer either much distress or difficulty. For if a man urges himself to make efforts, then, as he continues them, he gradually makes progress and later practices virtues with tranquillity; for God, seeing him urge himself, sends him help. So let us urge ourselves, for, although we have not reached perfection, if we make efforts, through efforts we shall receive help, and with this help shall acquire all kinds of virtues. Therefore one of the fathers said, "Give blood and receive spirit," that is, strive earnestly and you will become perfect.




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3076 | 
Kadloubovsky, E., and Palmer G. E. H., trans. Early Fathers from the Philokalia. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1954, pp. 109,157-158, 161, 166,170 







C ountless as the sands of the Ganges are the merits which come from performing the six perfect duties and vast number of similar practices. But since you are fundamentally complete in every respect, you should not try to supplement that perfection by such meaningless practices. When there is occasion for them, perform them, and when the occasion has passed, remain quiescent. If you are not absolutely convinced that the Mind is the Buddha, and if you are attached to forms, practices, and meritorious deeds, your way of thinking is false and quite contrary to the Way. Your mind is the Buddha! There is no other Buddha! There is no other Mind!




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 3022 | 
Blofeld John, trans. The Zen Teachings of Huang Po, New York: Grove Press, 1958, pp. 35-36 







B ETWEEN THE pillars of spirit and matter the mind has put up a swing.
There swings the bound soul and all the worlds with not even the slightest rest.
The sun and moon also swing, and there is no end to it.

The soul swings through millions of births like the endless circling of the sun and moon.
Billions of ages have passed with no sigh of relief.
The earth and sky swing,
Wind and water swing,
Taking a body, God Himself swings.


Kabir, the servant of God, has seen it all.
0 brother seekers!
Only while you are alive is there hope of finding Him.
While you are alive, meditate.
While you are alive, contemplate.
Only while you are alive can liberation be found.


If you do not cut the noose of your karma while living, what hope is there of liberation when you are dead?
It is a hopeless dream to think that union will come after the soul leaves the body.


What you get now is what you get then-
Otherwise, all you get is a stay in hell.
To Embrace the real, Recognize the true Guru,
Have faith in the power of the Name!
Kabir says,
"Only spiritual practice will get you across;
be addicted to this practice."





Others Beliefs / Litterature 2677 | 
Kabir, The Inner Treasure by jonathan Star (New York: Tarcher-Putnam, 1999). 







S till your mind in me, still your intellect in me, and without doubt you will be united with me forever. If you cannot still your mind in me, learn to do so through the regular practice of meditation. If you lack the will for such self discipline, engage yourself in my work, for selfless service can lead you at last to complete fulfillment. If you are unable to do even this, surrender yourself to me, disciplining yourself and renouncing the results of all your actions.
Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace.





Hinduism 2666 | 
translated by Eknath Easwaran, Nilgiri Press, Tomales, California 







I f one sincerely loves the good known by the innate faculty but does not in reality do the good as we come into contact with the thing to which the will is directed, it means that the thing has not been investigated and that the will to love the good is not yet sincere. If one sincerely hates the evil known by the innate faculty but does not in reality get rid of the evil as he comes into contact with the thing to which the will is directed, it means that the thing has not been investigated and that the will to hate evil is not sincere.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2427 | 
Wang Wen-ch'eng Kung ch'uan-shu, or Complete Works of Wang Yang-ming, Inquiry on the Great Learning, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 35 





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