So we come to our last talk, and just for a few minutes I’d like to gather and summarise what I’ve offered you over these last few days concerning the practice that is at the heart of the DharmaMind Buddhist Group, namely The Five Pillars of Transformation.

We need to develop understanding towards each one of these five pillars and be willing to put each one in place for our practice to be complete and fulfil itself. We need to understand these very important features and I’ve spent the last few days reviewing them one by one.

I’ve highlighted and brought to your attention features that could be completely new to you, or maybe you’ve heard of them before and thought of them as not being particularly important, or maybe saw them as just part of a landscape that goes to make up a much larger picture. But I’m very much of the conviction that if you are really interested in the type of practice we pursue in our group then these are the key features to be aware of and constantly bring to your attention and open up to. Turn them over within yourself and bring them into your mandala of awareness and daily life. Bring them into the mandala of what you would call your practice.

Don’t imagine, as we can often do, that this is an opportunity to create yet another list of formulas so often found in Buddhism. I guess lists and formulas can and do have their use, but please don’t imagine this list to be of that nature. These so called five pillars have been primarily created to arouse and orientate your awareness and reflective ability. The real use of these features is to bring them into our lives right now. These five pillars are not things to think about but to do, something to taste.

When we begin to bring these pillars into our practice we will see that they do not line up one after the other as you might expect, that would be theory, which is the nature of thinking. That would be the dualist world, one thing sitting alongside another. When we bring these pillars into life as our direct experience we find they merge, become one. Whichever pillar you wish to reflect on, look carefully and you’ll see the other four. With direct experience concepts become one, they penetrate each other, that’s the difference between theory and practice. In theory there is duality, when we practise there’s a direct impact and direct living of awareness and in that moment there is no duality. So please see these pillars as pointing to our direct experience of what we regard as our reality. It is in this moment that we experience and realise the heart and spirit of our particular practice: it is so important to realise this.

Read the rest of the teaching in this pdf

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