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Buddhadharma : Summer 2016
summer 2 0 1 6 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 17 Walk the talk Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche says if you want to make the world a better place, you have to practice peace at home first. Like many people today, Buddhists share a vision of a peaceful world, free of war and aggression. But even if we are waving No Nukes banners (and the like) on the streets, or metaphorically in our lectures, blogs, and tweets, we haven’t fully disarmed ourselves. We haven’t set aside our own aggression. Too often, we do the opposite of what we say. In the microcosm of our own world, we wage our private wars on one another. How often do we respond to someone’s anger at us with anger, impatience, and defensiveness? When our spouse blames us for one thing, we try to find some other blame to pin on him or her. And on it goes, as if none of this counted as “war” or aggression or a fundamental disturbance of the peace. If we act in this way, our noble view and our actual practice have become two separate things. We can have a high view, but our practice doesn’t usually line up with that view. In whatever way we can, it’s important for us to think about peace, what it really means to us. Can we see ourselves establish- ing our vision of a perfect foreign policy in our domestic relationships? Can we bring our most idealistic vision of world peace into our very own lives? Since many of us don’t rule the world, how do we change it? Each one of us changes it by practicing peace, practicing patience, and practicing loving-kindness and compassion at home. Where the heart is. FROM emotional resCue, By DzOGChEN PONLOP, PuBLIShED By TARChER/PENGuIN, A DIVISION OF PENGuIN RANDOM hOuSE, APRIL 2016 meditation’s sweet spot In meditation, says Bhikkhu Analayo, there’s a place where thinking and non- thinking coexist. You don’t have to choose. Even though satipatthana meditation takes place in a silently watchful state of mind, free from intellectualization, it can never- theless make appropriate use of concepts. But what does this actually look like, to stay with an experience while at the same time using an analytical portion of the mind? If you look at a sunset, you can just look and not even know what it is. That is completely concept-free. You can look and know it’s a sunset and quietly stay with the experience. You can also look and say, “It’s a sunset. It’s very beautiful. Wow.” Or you can look at it and say, “Oh, this is a sunset, and it reminds me of last year when I was in that place and looking at that sunset, and I should send a text message to my friend and tell him about the sunset...” You have all these different options. It’s not just black and white but is dependent on what is appropriate to the situation. It is the same with meditation. The main thing with meditation is to experience dir- ectly. This is what mindfulness is all about. So when we look at the sunset and keep talking, we are not really seeing the sunset because our mind is busy talking—mentally talking. But if we look at it without any kind of concept, then we won’t even know what it is. We’ll just see colors. FROM insight Journal 2016 Mindfulness