What is your daily practice?

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    shrineToday I have committed to re-starting a simple daily practice.

    I will start by lighting an incense stick and offering it to the Buddha on my little shrine, reciting the Impermanence Verse: “Time has passed with the swiftness of light…” (page 4). I will then do five prostrations using the prostrations chant.

    As an optional extra I can then sit for a while and either be quiet or do some chanting. I’m keeping it short and simple to make sure that I have no excuses not to do it every morning.

    I’ll finish by chanting three times: By the grace that I receive through Amitabha’s vows may I be moved to deeds for the benefit of all. 

    I’d love to hear about your daily practice if you have one, and if not, will you join me by committing to starting one. You can read about starting Amida Shu practice at home here to help you decide what you’d like to do. Let’s support each other in remembering the Buddha. Namo Amida Bu.

    Profile photo of Jules

    My daily practice is observing…which may not be in connecting with any spirit, but then maybe it is? I write a small piece of poetry every morning – I have for years since I started writing ‘small stones’ 😉

    for example here is this mornings (which I might add to…just observing ‘Stella’ our Nor’easter snow storm which has already dumped about 6″ of the predicted 18″ inches of snow here).

    Stella’s Spring Dig
    Packing its
    Punches in inches
    Snow’s shut down the


    Profile photo of Jules

    (Actually my time is 8:07 am March 14, 2017) I’ve been up since about 6:30 am and have been out twice so far with the shovel. I have a snowblower, but I’ve been waiting to use it as to not disturb the neighbors who might be sleeping in…) ~Jules


    I do my daily practice with my partner, Ian. We do 10 minutes in the morning and 5 at night. Ian does Zazen. We sit by our shrine with statues of Shakyamuni and Kuan-Yin. I light a candle and incense. I do bows and silently chant the Nembutsu. There are lots of things on the shrine which other people have given to us- a piece of a Buddhist temple in India, given by Greta at our civil partnership ceremony (she bought it from the monks, she didn’t saw it off with a nail file), cards, stones, little statues, different incense holders, a mandala my sister brought back from Nepal…


    Connecting deeply with the natural world and writing poetry sound pretty spiritual to me! Hoping that Stella isn’t too extreme, Jules! She sounds quite feisty.

    Profile photo of Johnathan Robertson
    Johnathan Robertson

    Andrew, I think that it is great that you and your partner practice together. That is quite rare around here in Baltimore.

    My latest little ceremony has been the Dawn Prayers, homage to the three jewels, nembutsu, homage to Prajna Paramita, Kwan Shi Yin, and the Pure Land, and a dedication of merit. Sometimes, I also sit silently in traditional zazen, with my eyes to the floor, or I will look up to my Amida scroll for a little while.



    Profile photo of Steve Durham
    Steve Durham

    I call it my “daily, non-traditional [from a Christian perspective] prayers” … every morning I can, I light a candle and place it before a Buddha figurine (occasionally one that includes Kuan Yin), bow and say the nembutsu in all 4 directions.  Then I pray in a fairly traditional way, using some prayer phrases I learned in Eastern Orthodox (Christian) prayer books: “Save and have mercy on …” everyone from each family member in my own and my wife’s extended families, the sick and the suffering (by name), public officials and servants (especially “first responders), the poor, hungry, homeless, lonely, etc. etc.  If there’s time, and if I even feel like it by this point, I pray for myself as well, but only after the other parts are covered. Occasionally this tails off into a period of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual silence. I have just had to come to terms with the fact I am spiritually an amphibian, at home in 2 spiritual domains, Pure Land (Shinshu) and a broad Christianity (Quaker despite the origin of the prayer phrases).

    Profile photo of Paul R Bilger
    Paul R Bilger

    What is a good basic way to start with the chant?  Is there a description of a good way to start?


    Hi Paul, welcome.

    This page, http://www.amidamandala.com/how-to-start-to-practice-at-home/, has links to audio recordings of chants you can practice at home. Or you could do a simple recitation practice where you say, “Namo Amida Bu” for each bead you move on a mala.

    Hope that helps a little, let me know if you have any specific questions, or we could Skype sometime if you’d rather speak face to face.

    Profile photo of Jules

    Rev Sujatin,

    Thank you. I am glad I remembered to fill my bird feeder. It is a delight to watch the Cardinals, Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Mourning Doves and Junco’s stop by.

    Stella is slowing down…in our area at least. Thankfully we have good neighbors, one with a larger snow blower than the one I have has helped several neighbors by clearing walkways and driveways. Later today or tomorrow I think I’ll bake something for them.

    My snowblower is not large and does not like the wintery icy mix. So I had to do quite a bit of shoveling by hand. Hope things are ‘Springing Up’ your way.


    Every morning I say the impermanence prayer in front of my shrine. Such a wonderful prayer that reminds me of how fragile our lives are. I then bow and say Namo Amida Bu. In the evening I light an incense stick as an offering to Amida. Some days I miss the evening practice. I must try harder without becoming too attached to rituals rather than Nembutsu.



    Thank you for that comment, Jonathan. I think I am lucky to practice with my partner. It would be very hard for me to do early morning and last thing at night practice otherwise, although I do do a short silent Nembutsu practice in bed, just before I go to sleep.

    Profile photo of David Hope
    David Hope

    I try to do at least 5 prostrations every morning (early with the dawn chorus today!). Also 1 or more qi gong exercises.

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    My daily practice starts with silent meditation. Then a prayer to Odin all father.

    Iam here father,you have called me,

    And iam here.

    Where your wind talks to trees,

    And carries your ravens to the mountains,

    Where the last of the old ones live.

    Iam here father,I take possession of my Heritage, and step into the line of my ancestors,

    I grasp the spear of my will,and gird myself with the courage of seekers.

    I draw the runes of power around me.

    Then I light incense sticks on my garden shrine and chant the nembutsu.

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    My daily practice tends to be a mixture of my Norse beliefs and my Buddhist beliefs from my days at the Buddhist house,some might not understand how I mix the two,but it works for me my Wa (harmony) is very good and each day is a new blessing.my last heart operation was very bad and I nearly( or as one nurse said I did for a while) died because of a severed artery.this caused a blood clot that caused my stroke.but I survived.so each day is a new life and a reason to celebrate namo amida bu.

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