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Buddhadharma : Fall 2012
8 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY FALL 2 0 1 2 own. I was assisted in the ceremony by Zoketsu Norman Fischer, another senior teacher in our Suzuki tradition. As it happens, Ed, Peter, and I all per- sonally knew Suzuki Roshi, so the cer- emony was partly a way of honoring the decades that the three of us have spent, separately and together, continuing and deepening the zazen practice that he taught us. The ceremony is elaborate, meticu- lous, and rather exhausting. Neverthe- less, the feeling of it is transformative and empowering, both for teacher and disci- ples. When I was young, I scorned ritual as something hollow and artificial; that is how ritual seems if one only perceives the outer level of the ritual. But when the inner feeling awakens—in this case expressing the intimacy between teacher and student—the ritual comes alive. And at its innermost level, dharma transmis- sion honors the personal relationship that teacher and disciple share with the ances- tors and the wisdom they have imparted. It works much like a marriage ceremony. Two people may live together for years and say marriage doesn’t matter to them, but once they seal their relationship with ritual and vow and become part of their own family tradition, things change. It’s not just about the wedding or the indi- viduals anymore. Ritual is the ancient language of human bond. It can be simple or com- plex, short or long, but it counts, and it works. In one sense, Gautama the Buddha brought rationality and careful observation into the religious sphere; he was an early pioneer of reason. But not everything in the universe is ratio- nal. There are the mysteries of love, intuition, and prophetic dreaming, for example. Like the transmission cere- mony itself, the universe expresses itself in multiple ways. I am glad transmission week is over; physically it was hard. But I also feel a lightness of being and sense of respect and gratitude to my tradition and all my teachers. When I took my priest vows with Suzuki Roshi forty years ago, I never imagined it would come to this, but now it has. Awakening to this natural wisdom and compassion is the practice of Dzogchen Natural Great Perfection. In his new book, Buddha Standard Time, Lama Surya Das shows how we can make every moment an expression of our true Buddha-like nature. Join Lama Surya for Dzogchen meditation retreat and see why Ram Das says of his new book, “If you want your future moments to sparkle with ecstatic awareness, read this book.” Discover what Thich Nhat Hanh means when he says that Lama Surya1s book offers, “A wealth of inspiration and practical tips for enjoying the Kingdom of God, the Pure Land of the Buddha, now.” DZOGCHEN MEDITATION RETREATS WITH LAMA SURYA DAS Advanced Dzogchen Retreat (prerequisites apply) Dzogchen Osel Ling, near Austin, TX October 20 – 27, 2012 Natural Meditation, Dzogchen Meditation Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY January 5 – 13, 2013 View, Meditation and Action of the Great Perfection Joshua Tree, CA March 16 – 24, 2013 Based on his 40+ years of spiritual experience, including more than 8 years in secluded retreat, Lama Surya Das is a master at transmitting to Westerners the authentic teachings of the Great Perfection. Lama Surya is a lineage holder in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Through his warmth, poetry, humor and clarity, he continues to make these timeless teachings accessible to all and has reached millions through the publication of 13 books, including his latest, Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now. For Information and Registration: www.dzogchen.org/retreats, e-mail email@example.com, or call 585-348-7125. To find Lama Surya Das & Dzogchen Center on social media, visit www.dzogchen.org/connect. DZOGCHEN CENTER AWAKENING THE BUDDHA WITHIN "AS CHOGYAM TRUNGPA RINPOCHE ONCE SAID, 'We are far more Buddha-like than we know.'" – Lama Surya Das in Awakening the Buddha Within "AS CHOGYAM TRUNGPA RINPOCHE ONCE SAID, 'We are far more Buddha-like than we know.'" – Lama Surya Das in Awakening the Buddha Within