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Buddhadharma : Spring 2016
spring 2 0 1 6 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 17 disappears when the fist is formed. Or when the palm is revealed, that the fist disappears. In truth, the mind gives rise to myriad functions and phenomena. When you open your hand to show the palm or close your hand to make a fist, your hand has neither increased nor decreased one bit. The mind is exactly like this. There are limitless phe- nomena manifested in the mind—just like the Internet: when you click on a website, the website appears. If, in the midst of open and endless space, you attend to the sky, sky manifests; if you attend to the meadow, meadow manifests; and if you attend to sounds, sounds manifest. Have any of these phenomena ever appeared after all? It is your mind that has moved. FROM Chan magazine, AuTuMN 2015 dharma’s balancing act Bhikkhu Analayo examines the fine line between cultivating meditation practice and losing our way. We all have decisions to make. How much time do I give to meditation? How much do I give to others? We have to make these decisions. But we also have this good friend—mindfulness. And with that mind- fulness we monitor what’s happening. Am I still progressing on the path? Or have I become stagnant? Am I getting caught up in my role, my function? Or, on the other side, am I losing contact with reality? Am I no longer really contributing to others? Am I getting self-centered, only concerned with my own practice, wanting to defend it against disturbances created by others? Both sides are very natural losses of balance. It’s not that we have to be negative when these happen. We just want to recognize. And adjust. We recognize. And we adjust. And so on. And then, after some time, we find the middle path, and we move ahead. This is the practice. It’s always this coming back to mindful- ness as the island, as the refuge—dharma as the island, as the refuge. It is our under- standing of the dharma—together with mindfulness, which keeps monitoring what is happening in us and our way of relat- ing to others—that gives us this precious feedback. Where do I stand? Does this par- ticular mixture of meditation practice and involvement with the world work for me? Or do I need to readjust? There’s no fixed recipe, only this: be mindful. FROM inSighT Journal, 2015