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Buddhadharma : Spring 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly SPRING 2 0 09 82 are not different, then the fact that things are not solid and fixed becomes, rather than a threat, a liberating opportunity.” That really guides me, when I meet this question. I’m quite willing to rest in the uncertainty, and I trust that resting with not knowing actually is the most helpful element tending toward liberation. So, when I’m with someone at the bedside, I try to rest in the uncertainty to the great- est extent possible and to support their resting in that not knowing as well. On the other hand, people have very strong faith in things, and whatever it is they have faith in, I tend to support that for them, and just rest in my own uncertainty. Buddhadharma: Buddhist belief, in fact, is not what will make a big difference, it sounds like, since whether you believe in rebirth or not, the experience will be the same. ajahn amaro: Sometimes that big of a picture, the doctrine of rebirth, can be threatening, particularly if it’s coming from an authority figure, the Buddhist teacher. It can be encouraging but it can also be threatening. The more appli- cable teaching is to focus on the sense that when we meet the unknown from a perspective of self-view, from the ego- centered perspective, what arises is fear. But as others have suggested, when we meet the uncertainty, the unknown, with heart, we experience wonderment. So I try to encourage letting go of those self- centered perspectives and instead com- ing more from the heart, which makes us open to what will unfold, the mystery of it, rather than feeling we must have a defined image of what’s out there to look forward to. All that does is com- pound self-view. Frank ostaseski: We have made death so technological, and professionalized care of the dying. We sometimes even do that in our religious contexts with our fixed ideas about the right way to die. People have been dying since forever. It’s impor- tant to remember, and remind people, that we know how to die. It’s in our bones. Somehow, we have just forgotten. ➤ continued from page 81 John Daido Loori, Abbot Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Vice-Abbot and Resident Teacher Lay-training center in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn Residential program Zen teacher and monastic staff in Residence Daily meditation schedule Saturday retreats To find out more about ZCNYC call (718) 875-8229 or visit our award winning website www.mro.org/firelotus. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism Zen Center of New York City Great Vow Zen Monastery Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi Zen teacher Hogen Bays www.greatvow.org 503-728-0654 Soto and Rinzai roots Lay and monastic paths Monthly meditation intensives Residential training program Summer work exchange ancient temple rhythms in the beautiful pacific northwest enjoy our dharma talk archive at Resident Teachers