The spiritual cultivation of Buddhist practice commences with our birth and lasts for the duration of our life. The actions we perform in our everyday lives, whether it be a wink, a smile, lending a hand to one in need, or comforting one another, all form a part of our spiritual cultivation.
Genuine practitioners recognize that Buddhist practice is a lifelong pursuit and that our self discipline must be applied to all of our actions, language and behavior. In accordance with self discipline, how you treat and relate to others is a reflection of how you treat yourself.
Buddhist practice should not be treated as a flippant conversation topic nor a trendy slogan but instead is to be treated solemnly throughout our life. As practitioners, we must strive day and night to cultivate diligently and be continuously mindful in how we conduct ourselves.
Naivety, or being out of touch with the realities of life, can be considered a form of ignorance and thus should not be confused with having with a purified mind; rather, it is only with a purified mind that one is able to attaining nirvana. Similarly, one should not consider asceticism as a form of spiritual cultivation, as it also does not necessarily lead to nirvana. Only under the advice and guidance of an experienced teacher can one succeed in bearing the fruits of diligent practice.
Buddhism can be practiced and cultivated without regard to nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, nor religion. It can be practiced by all!