Foundations Of Buddhist Practice Restore Faith

Buddhist Temple

Picture by MikeTowse –

Writer Lewis Richmond has explained how he restored his Buddhist practice after some years of doubt.

Starting in my early 20s, I immersed myself in the study of Soto Zen, first with my Japanese root teacher, and after his death with his American successor. I lived in monastic or semi-monastic settings for a total of 15 years. Early on I was ordained as a priest; at some point I became a teacher myself. During that time, Buddhism was my whole life.

Then, after 15 years my faith in this practice, once so strong, turned to doubt. I began asking myself: What do I really know that is true? Who and what can I really trust? I also asked: What has become of Lew, the person I used to be so many years before?

Lewis Richmond’s doubts became so strong that he eventually left his teaching position and his community and settled into the typical life of a householder with his wife and child. Later he once again began a period of self-examination and eventually came up with seven foundations of Buddhist practice that helped to restore his trust in the teachings.

These were:

  • Sitting
  • Walking
  • Chanting
  • Bowing
  • Precept
  • Robe
  • and Sutra.

I can’t say that all seven are universal to every school of Buddhism, but many of them are, and all of them are common to the meditation schools of the three vehicles — Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana.

To find out more about these seven foundations read Lewis Richmond’s full article in the Huffington Post.