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Buddhadharma : Winter 2015
winter 2 0 1 5 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 17 the dharmakaya and rupakaya. Then you dedicate all your past, present, and future merits and their results, as well as all the good things in this life and in your next rebirth. Dedicate all the enjoyments in good rebirths from life to life, then the everlasting happiness of nirvana, and next, the ultimate happiness, the peerless happiness, the total cessation of all the obscurations and com- pletion of all the realizations. So you dedi- cate all of this to numberless hell beings, numberless hungry ghosts, numberless ani- mals, numberless human beings, numberless asuras, numberless suras, and numberless intermediate state beings. And from that they achieve everything, the dharmakaya and rupakaya. When you take the suffering and its causes—wow, wow, wow, wow, wow—this is the most powerful purification. Negative karmas and obscurations collected from beginningless rebirths are purified. It is most amazing, most amazing, most amazing, most amazing! FROM Fpmt mandala, SEPTEMBER 2015 the Form police If you’re correcting others in their practice of forms and rituals, says Zenkei Blanche Hartman, you still have lots to learn. It’s often the case that when people begin practicing at the Zen center, first they’ll be curious about all of these forms we have. Then they’ll get kind of interested in prac- tice, and they’ll really get into it. They’ll start to learn the forms, and then they’re experts. They know the forms, and they’re looking around: “He didn’t do it right... She didn’t do it right!” The Form Police. Suzuki Roshi used to say that you should just take care of your own practice; don’t concern yourself with other people’s practice. But there is that stage for almost all students in which they “know,” or they feel that they know and the new people don’t know. Don’t be concerned with people like that— they’ll learn after a while. Not knowing is nearest. They’ll learn that if they want to help someone learn the forms, it’s altogether different from judging whether the person is doing them right or wrong or correcting someone so that those who judge will be right instead of wrong. After someone has practiced a little longer, if you’re not sure of what to do, that person will be quite differ- ent in the way he or she helps you figure out the appropriate formality for the situation. These forms may seem rather cumber- some, but they are just ways of bringing us back to the present moment all the time. We step into the meditation hall with our left foot, the foot nearest the outside edge of the doorway. There is no religious sig- nificance to that. If you step in with the other foot, nothing awful is going to hap- pen. Really. But it’s a way for you, at that moment, to notice where you are. You can see if your mind is where you are or if your mind is somewhere else. All of these little formalities function that way. They’re aids to help you bring your mind back here, like following your breath or checking your pos- ture during zazen. You turn toward what’s happening right now to bring your mind and body together so that you’re wholly present. When you’re passing someone in the hall, bowing. Just buddha bowing to buddha. Just bringing yourself back here, back here, back here, so that you can actu- ally experience your life. FROM seeds For a Boundless lIFe, SHAMBHALA, AuGuST 2015