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Buddhadharma : Fall 2017
fall 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 15 me every day. I don’t even have any of the qualities of a Shravakayana master or Mahayana master, let alone those of a Vajra Acharya. And as a human being, I’m completely unreliable. But I have received teachings from some of the greatest masters, buddhas in the flesh, so the lineage is defi- nitely there. Isn’t it painful to be in a situation where you need something from someone who is completely unreliable, especially when you know that if you ask for what you need, you’ll be stuck with him forever? So please, think twice. SuMMeR 2005 seeking bedrock Charlotte Joko Beck explains how we can find the ground beneath our feet. Our life is always varying between hap- piness and unhappiness, or sometimes between relative happiness and relative unhappiness. It is shifting, changing, and we long for a bedrock of peace and stability. It is natural to do so, but most of us spend a lifetime seeking, seeking, seeking for a bed- rock we never find. Can we find it? Yes—if we comprehend and deal with the problem involved. Until we do, we seek the bedrock outside of our- selves; we hunt with hope for the person or situation or belief system that will supply us with what we believe we lack. The illu- sions of romantic love, of the perfect work or partner (or home or living situation) all beckon to us like the Sirens to Odysseus. If we don’t understand, time after time our little ship will be shattered on hidden rock. But the other side of such disasters is the dawning recognition that each rough episode in life can be our true teacher; each difficulty is, as one sutra says, “the Buddha come to greet us.” We slowly awaken to the knowledge that the spiritual bedrock we seek is not a life beyond disaster and pain but the embracing of disaster and pain as they occur. When we are more willing to experience our fear and pain directly, the wholeness (bedrock) of our lives is revealed as the miracle it is. Simple, yes. Easy, no. For most of us, this is practice for a lifetime. How- ever, the bedrock (always there) is more and more known to us as being there. The good life. WINTeR 2002 the sound of invisibility Susan Yao ponders what it means to talk when nobody wants to listen. As a Buddhist, I shouldn’t have pet peeves. I love all sentient beings, etc. But one of my pet peeves is being called “quiet” by people who never gave me the chance to talk. I didn’t start out quiet. I said, “Hey, dude, good to see you.” (I know you like being called dude, so I called you dude. That’s how mindful I am.) I asked you about your- self. Then you started making mouth vibra- tions and turned off your ear vibrations. A very funny joke came out of my mouth and had nowhere to land. No vibrations, no sound. So I stopped trying. And then, and only then, was I quiet. Children cry so they can tell their par- ents, “I need a nap.” “I don’t like this hip- pie food you’re feeding me.” “I made a WWW.muckychris.com