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Buddhadharma : Spring 2016
about. This is an example of perceptible inquiry but somewhat imperceptible response. Eventually the man decided to pay a visit to the Zen teacher who had given him the sutra book years before. He wanted to speak with a practitio- ner about some of the profound teachings he was reading, to engage the dharma more directly so he might better apply the teachings to his own life. He began visiting the Zen temple regularly, and the teacher suggested he take up the practice of zazen to help understand the Buddha’s words. By now, this man’s life had begun to really change, and great aspiration to deepen his practice arose in him: perceptible inquiry and perceptible response. Some- times this is how things work in our life. It’s hard to know how causes and conditions will play out over time, so there’s no reason to be discouraged about how our practice is going. Buddhanature is constantly knocking on our door, and sometimes we hear the knock but wouldn’t think of calling it buddhanature. We may walk past a homeless person and then suddenly decide to turn around, go back, and give her some change. That could be a knock from buddhanature, opening our heart of compassion a little, beyond our small, separate self. The buddhanature station is always sending out radio waves, but if we are not tuned in to that station, we don’t hear the music. When we think of the initial factors that brought us to spiritual practice, we can try to trace back our experience to various events, turning points in our life. These can all be seen as aspects of mystical communion. These events may not seem related to practice at the time, but later we come to see that