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Buddhadharma : Spring 2009
11 spring 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly In a moment of engaging flippancy, the Dalai Lama said, “Drop the cos- tumes. Change the teachings to fit your own culture.” Charles Suhor Montgomery, Alabama The depth of a person’s practice can be seen by how skillfully they ex- press their views. The last two issues of Buddhadharma left me questioning this. In the Fall 2008 issue, I read three au- thors debating the supernatural in Bud- dhism. As the discussions progressed, I could sense the emergence of egos, which culminated in a disagreement on the va- lidity of supernatural events. In the Win- ter 2008 issue, I read the commentary “Looking Under the Bed,” plus the piece titled “Buddhist Roadkill.” Both articles presented defensive positions concerning the threat of change in Buddhist practice in North America. My recommendation to the authors of all these articles is to get back to basics. Fundamental to all Bud- dhist practices, no matter what lineage, is the concept of change. The authors must stop clinging to the trappings of their respective traditions and be open to what is, in this moment, constructive for all Buddhists. The Buddhist tradi- tion evolved as it migrated from India to Japan. Zen did not exist in the Buddha’s day. So why can’t it evolve today? Don Purchase Ottawa, Ontario We Would like to thank the following people and organizations for their assistance with the Spring issue of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly: Antony Gormley Studio • Steve Armstrong Barbara Krakow Gallery Eido Shimano Roshi • Bodil Frendberg Haines Gallery / San Francisco Hamilton Press • Jonelle Kearney Corey Kohn • Jokei Kyodo • But-Sou Lai Paul Looby • Robin Metcalfe Sascha Meyerowitz • Azael Rodríguez Ed Ruscha • Alavi Seyed Ann Weidenbacher • Wynick / Tuck Gallery Zhan Wang dzogchen thenatural greatperfection DZOGCHEN RETREATS WITH LAMASURYA DAS Dzogchen is the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Considered by manytobe"theteaching of our time," Dzogchen is direct, immediate,essentialized, adaptable,and profound: a pure awareness practice applicable to any circumstance and readily integrated into modern life. Dzogchen, often translated as the Natural GreatPerfection, dire ctly introduces us to our inner Buddha, the inherent freedom, purity and perfection of being that is ourtrue nature. Dzogchen Center Meditation Retreats areheld across the country, throughout the year as shown below: DZOGCHEN MEDITAT IONRETREATS Joshua Tr ee,CA Spring March 21 –March 29, 2009 Garrison, NY Summer July 24 – August 2, 2009 Garrison, NY Winter January2– January 10, 2010 MULTIPLE TEACHINGS DAILY•NOBLE SILENCE • BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDINGS VEGETARIAN MEALS•PRIVAT E, SEMI-PRIVAT E, AND DORM ROOMS AVAILABLE For complete information and secure on-line registration for all of these scheduled events, go to www.dzogchen.org/retreats,e-mail email@example.com, or call 617-628 -1702. LAMA SURYA DASisthe author of The Big Questions (Rodale, 2007) and BuddhaIsAs Buddha Does, (HarperSanFrancisco, 2007). He is also the authorof Natural Radiance (SoundsTrue),aswellasanumberof other books including Letting Go of thePersonYou Used to Be and the Awakeningtrilogy, which includes theclassic Awakening theBuddha Within (Broadway). Lama SuryaisaLineage holder of Tibetan Buddhisminthe Rime (non-sectarian) tradition. Forover thirty years, including morethan eightyears in secluded retreat,he has studied withthe great masters of Tibetan Buddhism.With his open andlivelystyle,heis particularly effectiveinthe transmission of Buddhism in viableWesternforms by presenting Buddhistethics and insight, as well as methods of practice, in a manner accessible to all. DZOGCHEN CENTER BUDDHISM FOR THE WEST PHOTOS COURTESY OF: (LEFT) © DEREK SHAPTON; (CENTER AND RIGHT) STEVEN DEWALL