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Buddhadharma : Fall 2017
fall 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 19 I’ve been a Buddhist for more than twenty years and I’ve done a lot of meditation practice. But I’ve never experienced any real peace or absence of thoughts in my meditation, at least for more than brief moments here and there. I ’ve also had the benefit of many wonderful teachings, yet I still succumb to my emotions and old habits. More and more I find myself asking, “What’s the point?” What should I do about this? Tulku Thondup (contributor 2002–2004) Meditation works, even if it is not visible to you. A friend of mine was involved in ritualistic and devotional meditation on the Buddha of Compassion. He never believed it would have much effect on him since he spent so little time and energy on it. But then one day, right after coming out of a major operation, he gave a twenty-minute explanation of that particular meditation—even though his mind wasn’t clear yet and he couldn’t communicate well. This means that if you do meditation in the right way, even if you don’t see great results, it is still making a deep impact on you. At the time of death, when your mind becomes free from its entrapment in the physical body and the culture of the environment, the imprints you have made in the depth of your mind will shine forth. But we should be realistic. Say we do an hour of meditation a day. That means we spend the remaining twenty-three hours engrossed in other matters. And even during that one hour of meditation, our mind might be wandering a lot and we might experience lots of afflicting emotions, doubting thoughts, and a lack of true insight. If we are not doing an effective meditation, we can’t blame the meditation for our lack of progress. We must inspire ourselves to practice wholeheartedly and learn to apply the fruits of meditation to our day-to-day life. In this way, we can turn every moment of our lives into the wheel of dharma. —Fall 2002 Buddhism says that there are all kinds of beings out there— buddhas, bodhisattvas, deities—but I can’t perceive them. Is there something wrong with me? What do I need to do to be able to feel or perceive them? Zenkei Blanche Hartman (contributor 2002–2014) I don’t want to make light of your question, but perhaps you have a preconceived idea of what such beings might look like as objects— objects somehow separate PhotomichaelkrigsmanPhotorenshinbunce ask the teachers best of