37 Practices – Introduction

Practice #2 | Practice #3 | Practice #4 | Practice #5
Practice #6 | Practice #7 | Practice #8 | Practice #9

As illustrated in the book, Awakening the Buddhist Heart, by Lama Surya Das, many mind-training practices have become an important part of Buddhist training. As we can appreciate, this is also true for Budo practice. In the case of Buddhism, as Lama Das points out, an extensive training that he followed was the Thirty Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva.

Amazon Purchase Link

These thirty seven practices are the work of Thomge Zangpo, a Tibetan who lived in the late thirteenth century. He lived in a cave meditating day and night on loving kindness. Legend has it that all of the wild animals living nearby so benefited from his prayers and practice that they were able to live together in peace; even the wolf and the lamb would lovingly play together. In reading these practices we see how important they are in life. These thirty seven practices represent values and indicate the virtues that Bodhisattvas, the sons and daughters of the Buddha, all cherish. What is important for the Budo player is to see the similarities and common thoughts that apply to our own practices. We can find the common threads and the universal truths and apply them to our studies of Budo, be it: Karatedo, Aikido, Judo, Kendo, etc. This should help each one of us to be better Budo students as well as better people, able to see more holistically the cosmic connections. The thirty seven practices, as written by Lama Surya Das along with his daily life interpretations, will be interpreted within a martial arts context.