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Buddhadharma : Summer 2010
13 summer 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly don’t ask hoW i’m feeling Our emotions are just a passing trick of mind, says the Seventh Dzogchen Rinpoche, Jigme Losel Wangpo, so there’s no point in taking them too seriously. In Asian culture, especially Tibetan cul- ture, “How are you feeling?” is not some- thing that is generally asked because of the understanding that emotions are fickle and ever changing. Particularly in the Dzogchen tradition, we say emotions have no inherent existence, as we cannot pinpoint where they come from, where they reside, or where they go. However the experience we have of our emotions is often so intense that we believe in their reality. This is just a trick of the mind, but we can unwittingly get drawn in, and, like moths attracted to the light of a fatal flame, we suffer. When we have not recognized the empty nature of our emotions we can become caught up in their complicated details and create more suffering for ourselves and others. The answers that we constantly search for do not lie within our emotions. Instead when we rest our mind, we can recognize our emotions for what they really are and experience wisdom that lies beyond them. When we turn our mind inward and rest, we can experience a stability that is beyond the highs and lows of our emotions—sponta- neous peace that is beyond the mind. When we make resting the mind our habit, we will no longer be fooled by our emotions and we can experience genuine well-being. From an article by gemma Keogh publiShed in the snow lion newsletter, Winter 2010 no Way he killed the cat Theravadan monks challenge the authenticity of Mahayana teachings during an International Buddhist conference, reminding Zen Master Soeng Hyang of the importance of another kind of katz. Three years ago, we had a wonderful Whole World Is a Single Flower conference in Singapore. There were a lot of people there, including a lot of Theravadan monks, and everybody looked so happy to be together. But then some kind of ideas appeared. In the Kwan Um School of Zen, one of our very favorite kong-ans (koans) is Nam Cheon’s cat. For me, practicing this kong-an and hear- ing this story was a wonderful Zen teaching. But many people at that conference got very upset, saying, “Zen Master Nam Cheon would never kill a cat. That never happened. How can you give that kind of teaching?” As a matter of fact, they said, these Mahayana sutras, none of them are true. None of the Mahayana sutras ever really happened. It’s not Buddha’s speech. I thought that after maybe ten minutes the problem would stop, but it went on the next day. Same problem. So that meant that, also, the Buddha never held up the flower. That’s some kind of Mahayana idea; the Buddha never held up a flower, they said. Of course, we had this big banner, of the hand holding up the flower for our conference. That’s why it’s very important to believe in yourself. Don’t be attached to words. If you’re attached to words, if you’re attached to time, Mahayana, Theravada, if you’re attached to that, you go to hell. That’s why I like Zen. When we do katz, when we do “don’t know,” when we do “what am I doing just now?” there’s no fear. This real flower is generosity and perseverance. Samadhi, medi- tation, right livelihood, wisdom and effort, precepts and no idea—already everything is complete. So we have to remember to believe in our- self, not to trust words, not to trust ideas, but to 100 percent wake up and pay attention to what’s going on right now. Have great cour- age and always, always, only don’t know. From PriMArY Point, Winter 2010 kimscafuro