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Buddhadharma : Summer 2006
summer 2006| 6 |buddhadharma tally nonaggressive. “Peace is every step” if we are not ambitiously, quixotically, trying to force a parched desert into sud- denly verdant bloom, but instead patiently encouraging the natural growth of sprout- ing seeds of wakefulness. Our training is based on cultivating what is innate to the mind and heart, nurturing our native emo- tional intelligence. Practice is uncovering an innate human-heartedness, a genuine empathy for the suffering of others. Some of the oldest practice instructions in the tradition of the Buddha emphasize the need for this balance of innate wis- dom and practice, the necessity of join- ing nature and training. For example, this view is the basis for the famous instruc- tions to the sitar player to hold the mind in meditation “not too tightly and not too loosely.” When we are overly vigi- lant, self-consciously watching and judg- ing our practice, this active distrust of the mind’s innate wakefulness obstructs the natural flow of awareness. On the other hand, when we are lax and overly confi- dent that “it’s all good,” we become care- less, failing to apply the helpful antidotes of discipline and practical cultivation. In this and similar teachings, we are encour- aged to trust both basic goodness and the path of training. As Suzuki Roshi concludes: “Most people live in delusion, trying to solve their problem. ... We should practice with this understanding and solve our prob- lems in this way. Actually, just to work on the problem, if you do it with single- minded effort, is enough. You should just polish the tile; that is our practice.” This sense of practice as an entirely natural activity dissolves all pretense of engag- ing in a special, sacred, holier-than-thou activity. As Suzuki Roshi points out, “Even though your spouse is in bed, he or she is also practicing zazen – when you practice zazen!” Chögyam Trungpa, teaching on the second of the four foundations (which he sometimes called mindfulness of life), reminds us that life is, essentially, mind- fulness: “[the] instinct to live can be seen as containing awareness, meditation, mindfulness. ... Seen from the point of view of mindfulness of life, meditation is the total experience of any living being who has the instinct to survive.” In this way, excluding no one, joining the vast web of interconnectedness, we share the life of practice with all living beings. SANG CHÖD Cultivating life force, personal power, fortune and soul FROM THE CAUSAL TEACHINGS OF THE TIBETAN BÖN BUDDHIST TRADITION WITH Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche April 19–23, 2006 LIGMINCHA INSTITUTE at Serenity Ridge (our hilltop retreat center in rural Nelson County,Va.) 434.977.6161 / email@example.com www.ligmincha.org KiKiSoSoLhaGyelLo!