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Keeping a consistent, sustainable Buddhist practice requires a lot of time and effort. During a visit by Venerable Rita Riniker to our local Dharma center, she spoke of 5 ways that were explained by the Buddha that could be done to protect one’s practice.

Protecting and Cultivating Land

To explain this, the Buddha used the analogy of land that was being used to grow things. In order to protect land, one must

  1. Set up a fence or hedges to protect it from wild animals
  2. Water the land
  3. Break up the hard soil
  4. Remove the weeds
  5. Keep away insects

Protecting and Cultivating One’s Practice

This analogy, is similar to how we would protect our practice. In our practice

  1. Setting up a protective fence corresponds to protecting ourselves by keeping good ethics.
  2. Watering the land is equivalent to attending and listening to teachings.
  3. Breaking up or loosening the land corresponds to having the support of spiritual friends
  4. Removing the weeds is equivalent to being mindful of our actions of body, speech, and mind
  5. Protecting against small insects is equivalent to not being attached to subtle states of mind, like blissful states found in meditation.

For a more detailed look into these 5 protections, you can read Sharon Salzberg‘s articles:

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