using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Winter 2007
winter 2007| 50 |buddhadharma one can bring up a tremendous sense of potential failure for people. That can make it hard for them to realize that they do need some help. I know peo- ple who feel they must have failed as practitioners. They keep asking themselves why their practice hasn’t worked and why they still need help. That’s an unfortunate way of viewing the dharma or, for that matter, of viewing themselves or therapy. harvey aronson: Frankly, I don’t think it’s so impor- tant to emphasize the idea of a complete path. I’m even willing to be agnostic about that. I think we can simply say that there are practitioners in cer- tain circumstances who, for whatever reasons, do not have important needs met. At the same time, I would say that there is a very powerful assimilation of Buddhism in the West to a certain kind of pragmatism, hedonism, and peak performance. That trend represents an almost unconscious slipping away from the traditional motivations, vision, and orientation of Buddhism, which is liberation and compassion. The worldly orientation that uses Buddhism to facilitate well- ness and performance—to optimize our life as a material, hedonic experience—can have benefits, but it’s a far cry from what the vision really offers and from what I think inspired our involvement with Buddhism. Judith lief: I think of dealing with stress, physi- cal pain, and illness as applied Buddhism, in the sense of applied science, as opposed to the deep exploration of pure science. It’s helpful, but it’s not the core. Jack kornfield: Yet within the Buddhist tradition, there’s a lot of applied science: right speech, right action, right livelihood, Buddhist personality the- ory, teachings on community relations and many other forms of wisdom. It’s important not to estab- lish a hierarchy that says that emptiness and lib- eration are the great thing that Buddhism teaches and that the applied methodologies that might fit with it are only lower class. The absolute and the relative are different dimensions of our experience, and the dharma approaches both of them through a wide variety of skillful means, through form and emptiness, two different aspects of the dharma. harvey aronson: The applied science part of Buddhism is extraordinarily important, but when that is emphasized in a way that divorces it from the view, and from the extraordinary teachings on compassion, we end up with something that loses contact with what I think is uniquely a contri- bution of Buddhism to the culture of humanity. At that point, the true beauty of Buddhism is not communicated. Judith lief: One could lose the genuine acting out of Buddhism in everyday life, or one could lose the view. Either would be half-baked Buddhism. buddhadharma: If we agree that Western psychologi- cal approaches can complement the applied aspect of Buddhism, what are those Western approaches particularly good at? Jack kornfield: A teacher who’s very good at training people in the highest states of samadhi came to me looking for help, because half the students who came to him couldn’t do the practices he was teaching. They were suffering from depression, anxiety, and trauma, and he wasn’t trained in how to work with people encountering such extreme states. Dharma can of course be applied to such situations, but so can some of the skillful means of Western therapy that follow dharma principles. Western approaches are particularly helpful for the trauma and historical injury that a lot of people in our culture carry. These approaches can be very helpful for people who are practicing meditation and then find the history of suffering we carry in our culture starting to arise as they sit. Without help, someone can get caught in, or lost in, that trauma for a long time. Self Portrait as EC I, 2006 Cast marble ©JaumePlensa,CourtesyGalerielelonG,neWyork