Zen Wisdom 29



Shih-fu, at the end of every retreat, you urge us to continue to sit regularly. In addition to sitting, what other types of practice can we incorporate into our daily lives? In your teachings you emphasize compassion. Is there a compassion practice and how does it relate to sitting practice?


Practice can be divided into regular periodic practice and daily practice. Regular periodic practice can be further divided into individual and group practice. Individual practice is for those who are already stable in their practice, using their specific method. They can set aside time every week, month or year to just practice. Group practice is similar except that it is done with others. Seven-day Ch'an retreats, sutra recitations and repentance ceremonies are examples of group practice. Serious practitioners should do regular periodic practice a few times each year.

Your question, however, concerns daily practice, which is also of two kinds: fixed practice and ordinary activity practice. In fixed practice, at certain designated times each day, you formally practice. You can sit, prostrate, recite or read sutras, or perform morning and evening services. You should have a regular schedule to which you adhere.