Updated Teachings. . .
The Buddha taught some very amazing and time resistant truths which have withstood the test of time to this very day. However there are some aspects our practice that we can should be encouraged to update.
There is no need to practice like a monk with intense monastic practice in order to gain the type of benefits described by The Buddha. Intense day long meditations were encouraged and are still practiced by many monks. Although these sessions can be life changing, their rigor and length often are not practical for us lay people. In addition, one may not be psychologically ready for immersion in a such sessions. As shown by studies done at Harvard, a much smaller amount of meditation practice can also result in significant changes of the brain structure. Although the minimum necessary amount of daily practice is not yet established, most meditation teachers will tell their students to start at whatever amount they can spend. Start with 2 minutes, anytime, anywhere.
Some other simple steps we can take each day to bring more elaborate forms of practice home and keep it on point are both simple and still meaningful.
Be good to at least one person every day.
Show appreciation for your own efforts and the efforts of others each day.
Be aware of others struggles and relate them into your own life. It brings us together more than we can realize.
Let it all become a lifestyle, not a burdensome project.
It helps to be part of a group in order for the meditation practice to keep going. Accountability to the group creates motivation, and provides a ground for empathy-building.
Let us reclaim Buddha’s wisdom — bring back mindfulness meditation as a spiritual tool to increase well-being. Above all, while doing so, do it with non-attachment, not desperation!
Peace and Love, Jim