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Practice Outside the Temple
Many people note that their jobs and families prevent them from attending Phat-An more frequently. Quy recognized her good fortune in that she is retired and lives only three miles from the Temple, and can therefore devote much time and energy to the Phat-An and to her Buddhist practices. Yet others do not have the same flexibility. Louie said that people who are single or whose kids are grown have no problem attending the longer meditation and prayer sessions, but he has kids and cannot fit them in. Tri likewise said that he doesn’t come every week because he’s busy and has grandkids.
Yet people also discuss ways that they are able to fit religious practice into their daily, private lives. Huong said that, every morning, she meditates for five minutes, reads the teachings of Buddha, and prays to Buddha for forty-five minutes. Louie said he prays and meditates almost everyday; the whole practice takes an hour, but he said that he sometimes makes it shorter. Tri said that, when he’s driving in the car, he takes time to think about the things he’s thankful for, and to think about the ways he can help others.