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Siddharta Gotama, who is known as the Buddha, awakened under a fig tree like the Bo tree, or Ficus religiosa, pictured on this page. Other people have awakened, to mention just a few examples, while looking at a flower, stepping off a bus, and even, according to Zen Buddhist stories, while using the toilet. Awakening can happen in all aspects of our lives.

Practice is ultimately about awakening, but when awakening happens is beyond our control. However, if we align our lives with what is true at the deepest levels of our experience, there is a greater chance that awakening will occur. So, we practice.

People practice for many reasons besides awakening. They practice to feel calmer, to experience less stress, because it helps them see their lives more clearly and because it feels good. These are all benefits of the practice and worthy reasons for starting. Whatever your reason for practicing, we hope some of these resources will be of help to you.

  Bodhi Tree image  

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© 2007, 2011, Philip L. Jones