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My daily practice - Bodhi College

My daily practice

Christina FeldmanChristina Feldman, teacher
“The last year for me has been very engaged with looking after young children. This is a very present moment way of living with the question of ‘what does this moment need’ very much at the forefront. As my days are so full, I find it greatly beneficial to take a couple of hours in the late evening for silence, solitude, and practice. I walk pushing a buggy two or three hours a day and tun this into an intentional walking practice.”

Brigitte Huber-Jordi, trustee:
“Cooking and baking as a form of practice! I regularly have to prepare meals, be it for some friends, our extended family or just the two of us. I have to walk to the basement where veggies and staple foods are stored, sixteen steps down into cooler air along a smooth wooden rail on wooden steps with a nice sound when tread on. Then cleaning and cutting the different colored textures, that soon release their wonderful smells. Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Farmer for growing them, thanks Mr. Trucker for bringing them, thanks Mrs. Wholefoodsalesperson for shelving them! While sizzling, steaming and cooking I look forward to who ever will be eating my meal, may they be happy and enjoy it! I think of my little grandson who just started to pick up little cubes of food with his small fingers. May he find a world that is still worth living in when he is older, may I be able to contribute in any small way to peace in his world.

And baking bread- a wonderful practice I enjoy on a regular basis. It starts with wonder and gratitude that this small glass of starter somehow miraculously is a living thing in my fridge and the tiny creatures do their job with the flour – thank you! The fine smell of different flours I mix will turn over a day into a different smell in the dough with me attending to it every two hours, gently but steadily pulling and folding it. In the evening after baking the house is filled with the heartwarming smell of fresh bread! Gratitude and joy fill my heart, I am looking forward to the moment it will be nourishing us.”

Pilar Puig, trustee
“I use insight timer to practice several times a day for periods lasting between 15 and 40 minutes. I also like to sit for 10-15 minutes before I go to sleep.
I also love tenpercent, the app, which has themed meditations that I use for moments of stress or anxiety or sleeplessness for example.
I try to use moments of waiting to feel my seat and feet. When waiting for someone to join a zoom meeting, on the bus, etc.
Also doctor’s appointments are a great time of practice for me now, e.g. the dentist and other uncomfortable/painful procedures. I like to orient my mind to the way in which my teeth are being taken care of and the kindness that expresses, which makes the uncomfortable sensations and unpleasant noises a lot less unpleasant.
I am part of several practice communities and have multiple ‘dharma’ friends that have supported my journey in different ways over the years. Taking part in longer programs like the CPP has hugely supported this.”

Christoph KockChristoph Köck, teacher
“After getting up I do Yoga for 30 min and sit for 30 min, letting the mind settle on the breath mostly.
Leaving my flat I often take the breath as an anchor and try to notice how long it takes me to forget it, and remember it again.
I establish themes for contemplation, sometimes in connection to a seminar I will be teaching, and keep it in mind during the day. An example for this would be one of the four Tasks or a theme like faith or patience. Generally a theme in my life is to keep the mind in the wholesome spectrum.
As I am in kind of formal situations with other people in psychotherapy, supervision and counselling I tend to take this as opportunity of establishing mindfulness in the domain of the interpersonal. Grounded body awareness, listening for meanings that are conveyed verbally and nonverbally.”

Richard Fernyhough, former trustee:
“My daily practice falls into two quite different parts viz. on the cushion and off the cushion.
On the cushion: I meditate in the morning immediately after getting up. I start with some short prayers including metta practice. This sets me up and directs my mind into the space I want to be in.Then I meditate on the Sattipatana sutra, as taught by Analayo, by reminding myself of the four foundations for the development of Mindfulness, being the so-called “Quick Path” to Awakening. These four foundations are Mindfulness of: the body, the feelings, the mind and the dharmas ( by which I understand whatever may be appearing to one’s mind from time to time.) I usually end this section by meditating on the 7 factors of awakening as taught by the Buddha. Then I read a passage from Mindfulness-A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein which explains the Sattipatana sutra in great detail. Finally I conclude my practice by exhorting myself to try very hard throughout the day to keep mindfulness present in my mind whatever I may be doing. I devote 45-60 minutes to this practice but, I may make it shorter dependent upon how my day ahead looks.
Off the cushion: I try to keep mindfulness at the forefront of my mind whatever I may be doing during the day.”

Martine BatchelorMartine Batchelor, teacher:
“My day to day life at home is my practice, being mindful in a careful and caring way.  To be woken up at 3am like last night and take care kindly and swiftly of my mother who had fallen,  and like last night possibly falling back to sleep, if not meditating lying down in bed. Taking care of the garden meditatively.  Taking a rest when needed.  Helping my neighbour with her husband who is suffering from cognitive loss.  I practice formally when teaching a residential retreat.  I love the quiet sitting periods like at the Moulin de Chaves recently surrounded by the music of life in the countryside in France.”

Signe Glahn, Director:
“Most days I sit for 45 minutes early morning (combined with qi gong when I have the time). After the kids have left for school, I usually have time for an informal walking meditation when I walk the dog. In the evenings I exchange text messages with a friend where we list at least 5 things we’re grateful for/have appreciated during the day (most days the lists are much longer). These practices have all become an integrated part of my life and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. However, it’s an equally important part of my practice to be gentle and flexible when circumstances don’t allow for regular formal practice and if it is so, then try to bring in mindfulness, kindness and patience throughout my day anyway.”