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Practice, study, and offer service

Practice, study, and offer service

A series of talks given at Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala, India, on August 30, 2018.

  • How to balance studying, practicing and offering service
  • Adjusting the balance throughout our life

I think we need a balance of three things: studying, practicing and offering service. The nice thing about Buddhism is that how we balance these three can change during our life. You have to see where you’re at. At the beginning, you really need to study. Otherwise you don’t know anything. So you really have to study. Some people choose to study full on, not doing anything else. Other people study and combine it with mediation, or study and offer service. It’s going to vary according to the individual.

It’s something you may want to check with your teacher on if you’re somebody who really wants to make Dharma the centerpiece of your life. If you’re someone who wants to live a regular life and have Dharma be a part of your life, then you can kind of see how these things fit in. There His Holiness says 50/50, but that doesn’t mean exactly 50 percent of your time on this and 50 on that. You see what works for you. I think it’s good to have all three in some combination—sometimes one or two of the parts may be very small and one is big. Sometimes the three may be equal, because we have lots of different parts of us and different activities nourish different parts of us.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.