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 : Spring 2017
spring 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 29 about how to proceed; we can respond immediately, with nothing to force or worry about. The interest and aspiration to realize suchness is itself confirmation of the reality of suchness. Just the concern to live in accord with inner and outer reality, caring about the quality of our awareness, reflects the possibility of being such a person. Still, even while enacting suchness, we may wonder about this quality of natural response and function. Suchness teaching has sometimes been misunder- stood to mean that simply realizing suchness—or emptiness—is itself sufficient, with no need for actual, active practice. Merely hearing about or even deeply understanding suchness is not enough. Suchness is dynamic and active, engaged with the shifting flow of the phenomenal world. Dismissal of ethical conduct or beneficial activity denies the pur- pose of Buddhist practice, which is to relieve suffer- ing and help beings awaken. We can engage the immediacy of suchness and still recognize and act from principles of Buddhist ethics, responding helpfully rather than causing harm, and with respect for all beings. We do have the ability to respond, the responsibility to support caring and kindness in the current situation of such- ness. The bodhisattva takes on beneficial activity in the midst of the suffering of the world, not only as a responsibility but also as a joyful expression of awakening to suchness. This applies equally to how we face our personal problems. By facing and becoming intimate with our own recurring patterns of grasping, anger, or confusion, we can stop react- ing based on our greed or resentment; while looking for ways to be helpful, we can stop causing harm to self or others. According to conventional thinking, ordinary people cannot compare to buddhas. Yet as a person of suchness, you can simply stop and face your life as it is. It is okay to be the person you are, this body and mind right now, in this inhale and this exhale. This is how all buddhas are. Already being such a person, why worry about such a thing? Just be pres- ent and face the situation of this body and mind, the reality of right now. It may require sustained practice to be willing to fully face ourselves, the world, and this current situation. But by returning again and again to face this moment in all its com- plexity, we develop a sense of suchness. The stageless practice of suchness has been called “sudden awakening.” Sudden awakening is not nec- essarily a matter of some startling, dramatic, exalted experience that may finally occur after a long period of ardent practice. Such opening experiences cer- tainly occur and can be transformative and helpful, but they are not the goal or purpose of practice. In stageless practice, people can simply allow the pres- ent flowering of awareness, without any concern with stages of achievement. The eighth-century Chinese master Shitou (Jpn., Sekito), an important predecessor of Dongshan, was asked by a monk about the main point of Bud- dhism. Shitou replied that it is simply not to attain, not to know. For Shitou, Buddhist practice was precisely about not attaining anything or grasp- ing at any particular knowledge. The monk then asked Shitou what goes beyond not attaining or knowing, and Shitou affirmed that “the wide sky does not obstruct the white clouds drifting.” For Shitou, the background ultimate reality and the foreground particular phenomena are not separate The very idea of a path implies separation, that some distance in space or time needs to be traversed to get to a particular destination.