Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Twelfth Book, Part 6

“Let these be the objects of your ordinary thinking: to consider what kind of people both in soul and body we ought to be, when death surprises us, the shortness of our mortal life, the immense vastness of time that came before us, and will be after us, and the impermanent nature of every worldly material object..” 

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Practices

I think I will probably start regular practices again. These are:

1. Morning and evening prayer based on the meditation set up reflections in Bhante Gunaratana’s book, “Mindfulness in Plain English”. It starts, “May I be well, happy, and peaceful. May no harm come to me.” It then expands, paragraph by paragraph, to one’s parents, teachers, relatives, friends, people with whom your relationship is neither friendly nor unfriendly, then to people with whom your relationship is unfriendly, and then, finally, to all living beings. 

2. Reading the Heart Sutra once a day, for a reminder of impermanence and emptiness.

3. Reading the Five Things to Remember, once a day, for a reminder of the true nature of life.

4. Reading the Five Precepts once a day.

5. Reading the Fire Sermon once a day.

6. Review the four kinds of love, once a day–(1) loving-kindness; (2) compassion; (3) joy; and (4) equanimity.

If it gets too annoying, or, if I can’t keep the schedule, I’ll just stop. The point isn’t to afflict myself by setting up a new burdensome schedule to feel guilty about not following. 

If I have time, I will try to post summaries of sutras, for my own education.