Living with my five children, I face some difficulty in finding time and space for any practice. Would you have any advice?
A frustrated aspiring practitioner.
Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche: There is or is not Dharma practice depending on the state of mind, not the activity.
To transform what one does into practice, it is necessary and sufficient to establish an appropriate motivation. This is true whether it is meditating or doing housework, cooking, caring for children, etc.
Depending on the tendencies and capacities of the practitioners, there are three levels of motivation, which consist in orienting what one is about to do respectively in view:
- to prepare for good future rebirths
- to break free from samsara
- to attain Buddha's Enlightenment to accomplish the good of all beings.
In the morning, when you wake up, take a short moment to establish one of these three motivations.
- Rejoicing to still be alive.
- Remember that, since we are starting a new day, we will try not to waste this precious time, but to take advantage of it to establish the causes of the one of the three objectives above that we have chosen, through this that we will do throughout the day (including washing, eating, working, etc.). Develop the determination to behave in an ethical and benevolent manner, to keep control of your mind as much as possible, protecting it from disturbing factors (attachment, irritation, ignorance, etc.).
- If possible, rekindle motivation during the day. In the evening, do a short review. In case of deviations from the motivation of the morning, regret them and decide to do better the next day. Dedicate all the good things you did that day, and more broadly during the three times, for example for the good of all beings, or to obtain liberation as quickly as possible, etc.