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 : Fall 2011
59 fall 2 01 1 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly world. I’m sure that is the conclusion that, for instance, Jon Kabat-Zinn came to thirty years ago. I began to explore how to take the core of these teachings into a secular context, which did mean putting aside the language and the ritual and the larger context of Buddhism in order to make dharma really accessible to people. Buddhadharma: This also meant leaving aside doctrines like karma, for example. diana WinSton: Exactly. Wisdom ought to be accessible to peo- ple of all kinds. It ought not to depend on their background, religion, or anything like that. That’s what I’ve been doing the last five years, and honestly I love it. I love being a Buddhist teacher doing, in a sense, stealth dharma work. Buddhadharma: It must bring up certain concerns for Buddhist teachers when you teach without reference to a traditional system. diana WinSton: Certainly. Is this teaching only focused on results and not ethics? Can people enter deeply or just float along the surface? There’s no regulatory body that is respon- sible for the integrity of the practices that are taught in secular settings. For myself, as a Buddhist who has made a choice to teach in this way, I do my best to model the ethics, to model the teachings of compassion, to model kindness and self-aware- ness. It’s not just about getting rid of doctrine. It’s having to teach and train in a more embodied way that relies less on doctrine, since people are not committing to a path per se. Since the integrity relies so much on the teacher and the type of program, at UCLA we are developing training pro- grams and ways of certifying people to teach mindfulness, instead of their just going out and teaching without training or ongoing mentor and peer support. Others are trying to do the same. pat enKyo o’hara: This relates to the creative tension between conserving and innovating. Buddhism is not a fixed thing. In my own practice, I’m part of the ongoing stream of teaching and transmission. Even though I attend to the ritual and to the Zen tradition, I’m open to all of the wisdom of the West and use it a lot. I’m not uncomfortable with dropping language that doesn’t serve to communicate, or changing the mean- ing of language as it is used in the different venues in which we teach. I have traditional Zen students but also people in hospitals, prisons, and other places. We meet people where they are. I’m excited by all of this change. Of course, there are people who will hold fast to the traditions and work carefully on the translations of traditional dharma teaching, but that is not the only true tradition. Gina Sharpe: Having taught in prisons myself, I see that the way to keep the dharma really alive is to adapt the language while not really adapting the dharma itself. It must be under- standable to people as something useful in their lives, just as they are. When we talk about freedom in a prison, that can obviously be quite a loaded discussion. It forces us to explore Gina Sharpe: I’m not sure I’m referring to the same thing as Stephen, but what I’m talking about is the fact that dharma is being taught in a lot of nontraditional settings, such as prisons, schools, and hospitals. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is offered widely, in institutional settings but also in dharma centers. This is a huge phenomenon and we would benefit from really understanding what’s going on. We could examine how people’s needs are best met in different settings, rather than simply letting it grow like topsy. No need or point in controlling, as others have said, but it would be very helpful if we looked at the way language is used, and what might be helpful to support people who want to teach in those settings, as well as the kind of training people need to have who want to work in these secular settings. Buddhadharma: It might be helpful to make some dis- tinctions here. There are a few different movements. There is overlap, but they’re also distinct. One concerns developing forms of Bud- dhism that strip away doc- trine and cultural elements, so somebody could follow the Buddhist path without those trappings. This approach is presented in Batchelor’s Buddhism Without Beliefs and Confes- sions of a Buddhist Atheist. Then, there is engaged Buddhism or applied Buddhism, which puts an emphasis on having a component of social action in Buddhist practice, which may or may not include meditation. Finally, there is mindfulness meditation practice being used in all kinds of secular settings with no particular implication about whether a dharmic path is going to be involved. MBSR is the most widespread of these types of programs. Generally, little or no reference is made to Buddhism in secular settings where mindfulness is taught. For one thing, religious pro- grams are not allowed to be offered in certain kinds of public institutions. Ken mcLeod: That’s a very helpful distinction. Buddhadharma: Of all of the “secular dharma” movements, the one that’s the biggest phenomenon and which seemed to have been discussed more at the conference is secular mind- fulness practice. diana WinSton: I was teaching in a Buddhist context for seven or eight years through Spirit Rock and also doing engaged Buddhist work through the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. I loved teaching in the Buddhist context and then I got to a point where it just became clear that the teachings that I knew and loved and was personally transformed by—and watched many others be transformed by—could make an impact on a larger photo a. jesse jiryu davis