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Buddhadharma : Summer 2018
BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 15 COMMENTARY SOMETIMES I FEEL overwhelmed. In our climate of unending gun violence, extreme rhetoric in domestic and international politics, and environmental crisis, I find myself needing to lean not only on my practice but also on my lineage for support. After all, lineage gives the dharma the familiar forms we’ve grown accustomed to. Lately, however, my experience of lineage is bittersweet. I’ve grown increasingly aware of my lineage’s slowness to get with the times. Debates around whether it dilutes the Buddha’s teaching to address the real-life needs of those I love and serve through dharma seem hopelessly closed-minded, as does the hesitancy to openly explore how whiteness, colonialism, and patriarchy helped form the structures through which lineage has taken root here in the West. The radical creativity that allowed the buddhadharma to survive myriad challenges and undergo cultural translation as it spread from India around the world seems lacking. I find myself asking how my lineage can speak to the needs of people who experience trauma related to racism, gender bias, sexual orientation, and other forms of violence when the tradi- tion itself seems at times hopelessly naïve and unwilling to speak up and act. This causes deep spiritual pain, and I often wonder why I even participate in lineage when it feels so disconnected from my core values. When lineage becomes an ineffective con- tainer for our practice, we must find ways to reengage with the radical creativity of our dharma ancestors. We must reignite the wildness, humor, passion, deep wisdom, kindness, and resilient Lineage Is About More Than Preservation JUSTIN VON BUJDOSS