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Buddhadharma : Spring 2017
spring 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 21 konin cardenas: Practicing with non- attachment means remembering that all things and all people are constantly changing. In the Ariyapariyesana Sutta, Shakyamuni Buddha recounted that he was concerned that it would be too hard to teach what he had discovered because “beings take delight in attachment. It is hard for beings to see this truth, namely, specific conditionality, dependent origina- tion.” Thus, nonattachment means living in accord with the fact that this body and mind momentarily arise dependent on myriad conditions. It doesn’t mean lacking in human emotion; it means not clinging to any one way of seeing or responding to a conditioned, changing world. Therefore, it is related to upaya, a skillful response to the way things truly are in this moment. For example, one way that nonattachment might show up in how you raise your children is that you give them lots of room to explore their own expression. You might recognize that they are not always going to behave one way or another, just as you, as a par- ent, are not always going to behave one (leFt–rigHt)vaschelleandre,claudineGossett,kimWinton Qi’m a longtime practitioner, but now that i have children, i’m struggling with the notion of nonattachment. How do i reconcile nonattachment with the deep connection i have with my kids—and with my concerns for their well-being and safety? ask the teachers way or another. Keeping that in mind, you might try not to label them “the studious kid” or “the lazy kid” but instead respond to the way they are actually behaving. This is offering a skillful response in the moment; this is supporting their well-being by show- ing them that their choices matter while allowing them room to grow. Ultimately, these two aspects of your life—nonattachment and deep connection— are compatible. Since people and things do not arise independently or permanently, they must be connected, even as they are changing. In fact, even to say that they are connected may be misleading, because it might be taken to mean that there are two separate things. In Zen there is the saying, “Not one, not two.” That is, you and your kids are all part of the great ocean of being. Yet each of you is also a unique event, like a single wave on the ocean. You are insepara- ble, even though you are individuals. Thus, your well-being and their well-being are completely intertwined, interrelated. Seen from that perspective, the heart connection that you feel is natural, and so is the wish to keep them safe. It is in accord with some of the most basic Buddhist teachings. In fact, KonIn Cardenas is the guiding teacher in residence at Empty hand Zen Center in New Rochelle, New York arI GoldfIeld is cofounder of Wisdom Sun in San Francisco and a longtime student and translator of khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche sumI loundon KIm is a minister with Buddhist Families of durham in North Carolina