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 2016
46 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2016 important for growing into someone who can be of benefit to others. Mahayana practitioners pray to complete the enlightenment that is our own purpose as well as to further the purpose of others—their enlightenment. That means we pray to realize that all of us, self and other, are waves in the same ocean. Once we stop clinging to the one wave that we call self and open up to the whole ocean we’re all in, the tension between benefiting oneself and benefiting others can begin to release. EJO MCMuLLEN: Believing that we need to get rid of our self is a spiritual trap. Practice is really a matter of admitting that there is no self to begin with and then living in such a way that we’re not putting our self-concern at the center. In the Soto school, the emphasis on practicing with others asks us to leave behind our inclination to do what we want in every moment. But that’s different from saying, “I’m try- ing to get rid of my self.” The self has to show up for a shared place of practice to emerge. When I first entered the Soto Zen path formally, I wanted to get down to business—I wanted to meditate all the time, not deal with any of that fluffy taking-care-of-community stuff. I was fortu- nate to be among long-term practitioners from the beginning and have my bluff called on my idea of true practice. The whole of my life—my work as a schoolteacher, my role as a father and husband—all had to be included, which I most likely would have tried to turn from without that kind of guidance. I think for most people, right from the begin- ning, we need a teaching and practice that asks us to consider the fundamental problem of dividing the world into self and other. We may mature into being able to help others or care for ourselves, but this maturation comes from walking the path with both feet, not trying to hop on one or the other. BuDDhADhARMA: The decision to take up bodhisattva vows is often framed in almost heroic terms or as a call to otherworldly effort. But it seems you’re all describing something more relaxed and organic than that. EJO MCMuLLEN: I think that heroic aspect is very important, not only because of the superhero ele- ment that we gravitate toward in the bodhisattva that we see as separate from us but also because that quality of a great being is a quality we possess. An image that activates these parts of ourselves and asks us to step into the realm of myth is foun- dational to the power of the path. How are people going to be inspired? What’s the inspiration to live a radical life of generosity, of vow, in this buy-and-sell world? Without these images, we can be limited by the confines of our narrow ideas about what is pos- sible. So I want to keep the hero piece. The prob- lem of the hero is not the hero but how we orient around it. If it just remains an external object, that misses the point. ANNE KLEIN: Initially, the vow to save all beings can seem kind of insane, and potentially ego-inflating. But the practice does have power. A natural unfold- ing gradually occurs where, out of our effort, the practice itself develops the power and becomes the teaching. My teachers have certainly emphasized effort a lot, and yet particularly the more esoteric traditions—Nyingma, Mahamudra, highest yoga tantra, and so on—all agree: we have to let go of effort. The task moves from conceptual to noncon- ceptual and from effort to ease. It’s a paradox—we have to make effort to learn how to relax. BuDDhADhARMA: Venerable Pannavati, do you think it’s important for people to explicitly take up the idea of the bodhisattva? VENERABLE PANNAVATI: If people are practicing the true path, they don’t have to take up something particular; they are transforming, they are becom- ing something. You can call it by some name or by no name. You don’t even have to take a vow. You just do. A Mahayanist can get caught up in pride, thinking, I’m seeking the enlightenment of all beings, right? On the other side, Theravadans don’t talk about it at all. But whether you call yourself by any name, sect, or lineage, or by no name, sect, or lineage—if you’re on the path, the path takes you there. It’s the Buddha’s path. As we move more The qualities that begin to arise as a result of practice are what take us to that path of hearing the cries of others, and having the courage and desire to respond. —Venerable Pannavati (Opposite) Machinery Yamala Vairocana, 2011