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Buddhadharma : Summer 2017
summer 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 71 caring presence, can deeply change the way that a person responds to thoughts and relationships. Also, understanding and deeply seeing the impermanence of mental phenomena can allow a medita- tor in therapy to experience distressing thoughts and emotions with less fear and a growing trust that they will pass. Awareness is strengthened in meditation to the point where we have watched mind states come and go; we are less likely to resist their arising as we know that this will delay their passing. Not only that, but when we understand the selfless and conditioned nature of phe- nomena, it fosters the awareness that thoughts can be emotionally true with- out being concretely true—a crucial dis- tinction for inner work. There is a great deal of difference between believing that I am a terrible person and understanding that I feel like a terrible person because of how I was treated in the past. As meditators, we understand in a deep way that the discursive mind is conditioned and not who we are in our essence. We become more sensitive and can feel the energetic difference between the chattering mind and the internal voice of wisdom. We know that we have buddhanature—a powerful internal guid- ance system, beyond the thinking mind, that points us toward wisdom and love. Having opened to and healed many of our wounds in psychotherapy, we no longer use our defenses to shield us from our pain; without this armor against suffering, we become more responsive to the world around us. Now when we meditate, we see more clearly. We go deeper. We have internalized the psy- chotherapist’s compassionate presence in the face of our own suffering, and as a result, we can better express compassion toward ourselves and others. We have matured. We are less caught in our own fear and pain and able to turn toward the suffering of others with an open heart. We are more of a clear channel for our inner guidance; like the Buddha, we can follow the inner promptings of our life journey and potential. With our karmic patterns modified and transformed, our spiritual practice deepens. Having studied the self, we forget the self and can see the world through a less personal lens. We can move deeper in our meditation prac- tice and, like the Buddha on his outings from the palace, experience the truths of old age, sickness, and death. We experience insight into the three char- acteristics: suffering, impermanence, and selflessness. We recognize the folly of relying on the conditioned realm to bring lasting happiness and satisfaction. At the same time, we deepen our com- mitment to develop the heart, to refrain from bringing any more suffering to our self and others, and to cultivate compas- sion for all beings. Like the Buddha, we may then be inspired to move even further, to leave our preoccupation with the familiar self and find what lasts beyond the condi- tioned realm. We may ask what is true beyond the sufferings and desires of the personal self, beyond our history and circumstance, beyond life and death. Less saddled with the baggage of per- sonal suffering, we go forth. santa fe, new mexico 505-986-8518 www.upaya.org firstname.lastname@example.org Upaya Zen Center summer retreats in santa fe, nm see entire calendar, teachings, & more at upaya.org JUNE21-25 An Ethics of Care T yS JULY7-9 Dogen Seminar: Exploring the Genjokoan LedbyR nkyo O’Hara, R oan Halifax, Senseis Kaz T yrnes, and Genzan Quennell JULY 11- 16 Sesshin: Dogen’s Body-and-Mind Study of the Way W enseis Kaz T yrnes, and Genzan Quennell JULY21-23 Calligraphy: Heart of the Brush Instructed by Sensei Kaz T simplysitting.com f ind true center the ultra lightweight meditation seat that breaks down and reassembles in one swift, magnetic motion for easy portability patented pedestal design promotes perfect posture, balance, and breathing the evolution of the meditation bench handcrafted and curved for comfort “groundbreaking.” “a total game changer.” “unexpectedly centering.”