Student’s Question: How do I integrate my practice into my life?

A student writes:

I tend to be on the outskirts of my practice for the most part. Doing all I can to ‘learn’ about Buddhism, but not fully putting into practise in my day-to-day life.

Although I practise mindfulness more each day, I find it difficult to fully integrate it, especially in times of stress.

Lama Shenpen:

Yes – that is why we talk about practice and the path, it is not just a one shot deal. It is not that we kind of learn something and that is that. We then have to train to be able to remember it and access it in every situation.

That means lots of situations will slip through the net while we are training – we will remember and be able to access our wisdom in some situations and in other situations we will just notice (after the event) that we didn’t – and that noticing is the continuity of the practice.

That is the time to really remember our wisdom and access it as best we can – there is nothing we can do about what we miss but we can regret it and make aspirations for the future so we get better at remembering and accessing our natural wisdom.

Eventually it comes through so strongly from its own side we don’t have to remember so much as relax and co-operate – that sounds good doesn’t it?

Even now we have moments like that don’t we?

Lama Shenpen’s students are all studying and practising the Living the Awakened Heart Training – a structured, comprehensive, supported, distance learning programme in Buddhist meditation, reflection and insight. The training, that’s open to all, brings the profound Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings to a Western audience in an experiential, accessible way, through spiral learning. Find out more and how to join at