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 : Fall 2017
60 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2017 enlightenment The Integrity of Emptiness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu For all the subtlety of his teachings, the Buddha had a simple test for measur- ing wisdom. You’re wise, he said, to the extent that you can get yourself to do things you don’t like doing but know will result in happiness, and to the extent that you refrain from things you like doing but know will result in pain and harm. He derived this standard for wisdom from his insight into the radical importance of intentional action in shaping our experience of happiness and sorrow, pleasure and pain. Given that our actions are so important and yet so frequently misguided, our wisdom has to be tactical—and strategic—in foster- ing actions that are truly beneficial. It has to outwit our shortsighted prefer- ences in order to yield a happiness that lasts. Because the Buddha viewed all issues of experience, from the gross to the subtle, in terms of intentional actions and their results, his standard for wisdom applies to all levels as well, from the wisdom of simple generosity to the wis- dom of emptiness and ultimate awakening. Wisdom on all levels is wise because it works. It makes a difference in what you do and the happiness that results. But to work, it requires integrity: the willingness to look honestly at the results of your actions, to admit when you’ve caused harm, and to change your ways so that you won’t make the same mistake again. What’s striking about this standard for wisdom is how direct and down-to- earth it is. This might come as a surprise, for most of us don’t think of Buddhist wisdom as commonsensical and straightforward. Instead, the phrase “Buddhist wisdom” implies teachings that are more abstract and paradoxical, flying in the face of common sense—“emptiness” being a prime example. Emptiness, we’re told, means that nothing has any inherent existence. In other words, on an ulti- mate level, things aren’t what we conventionally think of as “things.” They’re processes that are in no way separate from all the other processes on which they depend. This is a philosophically sophisticated idea that’s fascinating to ponder, but it doesn’t provide much help in getting you up early on a cold morning to meditate, nor in convincing you to give up a destructive addiction. For example, if you’re addicted to alcohol, it’s not because you feel that the alcohol has any inherent existence. It’s because, in your calculation, the immedi- ate pleasure derived from the alcohol outweighs the long-term damage it’s doing to your life. Attachment and addiction are not metaphysical problems. They’re tactical problems. (Opposite) Meditating Buddha Davaravati Period Wat Phra Mahathat, Chaiya, Thailand (opposite)©lucatettoni/bridgemanimages