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 2012
FALL 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 9 LETTERS WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS AT: LETTERS@THEBUDDHADHARMA.COM COVERPHOTOBYPAULFURMAN The article “Heal the Self, Free the Self: Bringing Together Western Psychology and Buddhism” (Summer 2012) dealt with some very important issues for Buddhism in the West. As one who has benefited from both psychotherapy and Buddhist practice, I appreciate the potential strengths of both approaches to improved personal well-being, and I agree with the general tenor of this round-table discussion that Buddhism and psychotherapy can be complementary and synchronistic. However, I don’t think this is necessarily or automatically the case. As Andrew Holecek succinctly pointed out, while individual Buddhists may benefit from therapy as an adjunct to their practice, “Bud- dhism doesn’t need therapy—in both senses of that phrase.” I would take that caveat one step further. To the extent that therapists are inclined to interpret renunciation and/or meditation as “schizoid” and an unhealthy withdrawal from the world, they may actually work at cross purposes to Buddhism by attempting to adjust their patients to the real world rather than encouraging and permitting the detach- ment and reflection necessary to recognize samsara for what it is. Many of the great Buddhist adepts down through the ages spent much of their lives in solitary retreat. If their therapists had treated them for “the schizoid defense,” they might have been better-adjusted persons, but there almost certainly wouldn’t be any Buddhism as we know and understand it today. Chip Drumwright Denver, Colorado In her article “Don’t Blame the Messenger” (Summer 2012), Rita Gross comments on the resistance she encounters when revealing the history of gender inequity in Buddhism. Now I could be wrong, of course, but in it I seem to have detected an undercurrent of defensiveness. Although I agree with her that the tendency to “kill the messenger” may arise anytime one presents information that conflicts with concepts people are attached to, I am sure Ms. Gross would agree that resis- tance to change is normal. As we know, the role of the teacher is to help students release bias and attachments and maintain the proper balance between questioning and acceptance to grow in awareness. Human culture is evolving constantly, and issues we accept as normal today may be tossed out with the trash tomorrow. It is all part of the big-picture reality of imper- manence. When we forget this, we become frustrated and risk becoming attached to con- cepts, generating defensiveness that clouds the mind with ego and separates us instead of connecting us. Michael Jaquish Gig Harbor, Washington Thank you so much for publishing the arti- cle “My Practice Without Meds” (Spring 2012). There are many ways that people with mental illness are discriminated against. The article makes a good point when it says, “If any of us developed stomach cancer, no one would suggest prostration practice as the highest means of cure. But when brain chem- istry and emotional suffering interact, the dharma immediately runs the risk of becom- ing a fuzzy, if not fatal, misapplication.” I’m glad that the author’s sangha was supportive of her efforts to deal with her condition, both on and off medication. May we all be free from attachment to our ideas about mental illness and have the spaciousness to accom- modate those who must use medication, as the author says, “to be more fully human.” B.A. Brown San Diego, California