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
50 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2016 there’s someone there holding out an empty can. I get this little voice in my head that says, Give them twenty dollars, but by the time I get my wallet out, I’m thinking Twenty dollars is too much and I’m fishing to see if I’ve got three ones. The critical- thinking mind has taken over: They’re just going to use that to buy alcohol. But if I really look, I can see that that mind kicked right in to protect Panna- vati. So I offer the first thing that comes up for me, to counter the mind that would always justify doing less. Often, it’s just to make someone’s day special. EJO MCMuLLEN: Everything is alive. So it’s not just a matter of doing good in a conventional way. It’s that when I’m touching something, I’m touching it in a way that reflects the truth that it’s also touching me back. That means when I see a person, I’m not just holding them in my idea of who they are. When I encounter students at school, for example, I can hang all my ideas about who they are on them and treat them accordingly. But, as a discipline, every time I say, “Good morning, how are you today?” I actually listen to the answer and don’t just overlay my idea of who that student is on the experience. We can equally apply that attitude to material objects. When you’re sewing a robe, first you just see a piece of cloth, but if you really stay there, stitch after stitch, there’s something about every lit- tle piece that is not just your idea of it; it’s the meet- ing of fingers and eyes and needles and thread and cloth and dye that comes alive in that place. Aban- donment of the subject-object way of encountering the world is a constant practice. It’s not just some- thing that we decide to do and then we’ve done it. BuDDhADhARMA: Sometimes, even with the deepest of intentions, people see that something needs to be done but still don’t know how to be skillful in that moment. How do we get unstuck so we’re actually doing something? ANNE KLEIN: We don’t always know what’s right. Our focus has to be on our intention, which includes cultivating as much wisdom of all kinds as possible. My teachers have said that the bodhisattva is a true cosmopolitan—comfortable with everyone, inter- ested in everything. The super-delicious secret is that bodhisattvas enjoy tremendous intimacy with their own and everyone’s lived experience. In this way, a more intuitive orientation to what we can do arises. Although we can’t always figure out the best thing to say in a situation, something comes to us, and we say it and then work with what flows from that. Skillful spontaneity may surprise us. And even when we’ve guessed wrong, we can always hone our intention. EJO MCMuLLEN: One of the things I really like about the paramitas is they encourage us to simply do the practice, not to do it perfectly. We have to be willing to make mistakes, even really big mistakes. That’s not license to just do whatever we want; it’s encouragement to do the best we can and then, in doing it, be ready to receive the karma of our action. Because if we don’t receive the karma, or if we think that we’re going to do it perfectly, the path disappears. I’ve got to trust that my understanding of what needs to be done is reliable and also real- ize that I won’t do it perfectly, that I’ll screw it up. If I don’t make that leap, I can’t really meet other beings. When we take the leap, we actually do become more skillful, our responses become more immedi- ate, and things that once seemed impossible become part of our life. We rarely learn without goofing up. VENERABLE PANNAVATI: That situation is why we need to have well-rounded training. The Buddha talked about the eightfold path—it’s one path, but we have to develop in eight areas. Our learning is something like a slinky—we think of it as vertical, step by step, but it’s not. We keep going around and around, examining these eight petals of a flower, and little by little, change occurs. We have to look at our thoughts, at the things we say, at the things we do, at our livelihood. As we do this, skillfulness begins to develop. It is possible to know what to do or what needs to be done. Sometimes it’s just a ques- tion of making yourself available. The Buddha taught by precept, but he also taught by example. When I look at this man— teaching people for decades, walking all over on foot, not taking any possessions for himself—as a Theravadan, there’s no way I could think that I don’t have to be concerned about other people. The Buddha could have gotten enlightened and kept to himself. But he didn’t. He shared the dharma with the world according to his particular talents and skills. Right there is the bodhisattva path. Whatever our talent, whatever our skill, we learn how to be a bodhisattva with what we have. Start right there.