Signing up for Zen classes twice a week helps me to raise my awareness, think about good deeds, and reflect on my speech, thoughts and actions. I also find it enjoyable to review notes from classes I have taken since 2014. Keeping these notes with my sutras over the years help me stay organized and have these items close to me wherever I may be–even when I travel on a plane or in my car. My daily intention and supportive actions lead me to have better reactions and karma. By observing my mind and thoughts, physical, verbal and mental actions (and reactions), I can practice the Eightfold Path. Keeping my thoughts positive, kind, hopeful, and encouraging generate blessings and merits. These actions lead to reactions in my life and in the lives of others. I try to not pollute, care for animals, use worthy words, not gossip, give encouragement, have empathy, show respect and be thankful to all those that I encounter in my day.
When I have evil thoughts (and there are times this does occur), I notice them and let them go. I try to be diligent in my correct thoughts. I study the Dharmas with purpose, meditate, perform good deeds, remain attentive, practice tolerance, thank others, consider others’ points of view. I calm myself when among critical relatives. By prostrating, reciting dedications and sutras, and attending classes whenever possible, I accept adversity, adapt to conditions, seek nothing, and act in accordance with the Dharma.