While we are trying to practice the Dharma, let's not get entrenched in superficial appearances. There is a story of one Tibetan man who wanted to practice Dharma, so he spent days circumambulating holy relic monuments. Soon his teacher came by and said, "What you're doing is very nice, but wouldn't it be better to practice the Dharma?" The man scratched his head in wonder and the next day began to do prostrations.
He did hundreds of thousands of prostrations, and when he reported the total to his teacher, his teacher responded, "That's very nice, but wouldn't it be better to practice the Dharma?" Puzzled, the man now thought to recite the Buddhist scriptures aloud. But when his teacher came by, he again commented, "Very good, but wouldn't it be better to practice the Dharma?" Thoroughly bewildered, the exasperated man queried his spiritual master, "But what does that mean? I thought I have been practicing the Dharma." The teacher responded concisely, "The practice of Dharma is to change your attitude towards life and give up attachment to worldly concerns."
The real Dharma practice is not something we can see with our eyes. Real practice is changing our mind, not just changing our behavior so that we appear holy, blessed, and others say, "Wow, what a fantastic person!" We have already spent our lives putting on various acts in an effort to convince ourselves and others that we are indeed what in fact we aren't at all. We hardly need to create another facade, this time of a super-holy person. What we do need to do is change our mind, our way of viewing, interpreting and reacting to the world around and within us.
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