About Our Practice
Our practice is to follow the Buddha’s teachings on wisdom, ethical behavior and mindfulness in all we do.
Training in this way leads to liberation from suffering in this lifetime. Ethical behavior teaches us to avoid unskillful acts and the regret or remorse that follows unskillful acts. When we act ethically we offer safety to ourselves and those around us.
This safety leads to a quiet mind, able to focus on each present moment. A quiet, happy mind, cultivated in meditation, discovers the wisdom which resides within each of us. The practice of loving kindness, one of the four supreme emotions, also helps us steady our minds and open our hearts to the world we live in.
The Theravada tradition of Buddhism, as practiced in Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka), informs our practice. The contemporary name given to this path is vipassana or insight meditation.
The Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha are the three jewels of Buddhism. We honor them in our practice.
The Buddha means both the historical Shakyamuni Buddha and the Buddha nature within each individual – our capacity to awaken.
The Dharma means the truth of how things are in the universe. This truth has three marks: 1) everything is impermanent - everything that arises has the nature to pass away; 2) everything is subtly unsatisfactory – because everything is impermanent even our most potent pleasures will fade away; and 3) everything is interconnected – nothing stands alone. Even a stone is made up of other elements. If one element is taken away the stone no longer is the same. It has no separate self.
The Sangha is the community who practice the path together. Traditionally this was a community of monks and nuns who took vows of renunciation. In our country and time the Sangha is often the community of lay practitioners.