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Buddhadharma : Spring 2012
SPRING 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 13 so she might see everywhere at once. If that is not anxiety, I don’t know what is. A bodhisattva feels suffering intimately, just as I do. The nature of suffering itself includes a wish to turn away from it. Which of us does not feel that? To turn toward suf- fering—however reluctant we are, however long we might hesitate—is to become truly human. That is what a bodhisattva is: in weakness and in strength, truly human. FROM INQUIRING MIND, FALL 2011 SWITCHING ON Connecting with emptiness, says Tsoknyi Rinpoche, is like flipping a switch that reveals the blessings of all the buddhas and lineage masters. How is it possible to benefit other beings by training in emptiness? It’s because the nature of emptiness, this unformed nature of mind, is identical in buddhas and in all sentient beings, including ourselves. We are naturally connected with everyone, and by training in the recognition of emptiness we actualize this connection with all sentient beings. As a mat- ter of fact, we are connected not only with other sentient beings, but with all enlightened ones—all buddhas, all lineage masters, and so forth. It’s like all the enlightened masters are con- nected to this electric wire of emptiness. All we need to do is to leave the switch on. The moment we flip the switch on—the moment we disengage from being occupied with thoughts of past, present, and future, with any conceptual frame of mind—we are natu- rally on, naturally electrified, and the current of blessings automatically flows through from all buddhas. At this point, there’s no barrier, nothing to block the flow. We’re already connected through the nature of unformed emptiness. This is also exactly how sentient beings are benefited through your realization of empti- ness. If you want to truly benefit other beings, simply let be in the state of rigpa without any focus whatsoever. That is how to be on, how to be connected, so to speak. It’s like when you switch a tape recorder on. All its activi- ties and functions take place quite naturally. It will record, it will play, whatever—but only if the button is on. Our job, our task is to simply be on. FROM CRUCIAL POINT, FALL/WINTER 2011, THE JOURNAL OF MANGALA SHRI BHUTI FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS FOR WRITERS Dinty W. Moore suggests how the Buddha’s most fundamental teaching might be tailored for writers. In the context of writing, mindfulness means that at those moments when you are focusing on an elusive line of poetry or a stubborn plot obstacle in a story, you are able to remain attentive to the task at hand, seeing the words that are before you, hearing the possibilities in your mind, not succumbing to the thou- sands of other willing and ready distractions. More than that, mindfulness means being aware of why you want to write, who you are writing for, and how to balance your desires for recognition with the demands of clear- headedness and honesty. Finally, mindfulness includes a conscien- tious and thorough consideration of who you