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Buddhadharma : Fall 2012
FALL 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 19 EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS TO TEACHERS@THEBUDDHADHARMA.COM TENZIN WANGYAL RINPOCHE: It is a natural part of the process of meditation to feel a bit disconnected from the outer world. As you become aware of negative emotions or obses- sive thought patterns that interfere with the flow of life, you are motivated to retreat and draw attention inward. By bringing non-con- ceptual, naked attention to whatever you are feeling or sensing, the impermanent nature of your perceptions is revealed. You witness the dissolution of that which appeared solid. Each time you cut a habitual pattern by becoming aware of it, you become a bit dis- sociated in the sense that you can no longer continue doing or believing in the same old thing. At this time, you may feel somewhat disconnected from your life, even if what you are cutting has clearly been a negative pattern. But it is not enough to disengage from habitual patterns. It is important to continue in your practice and look directly into the absence. As you go deep inside, connect with the quality of openness, the unbounded space inside yourself, and become aware of that spaciousness. As you abide there, warmth and creative energy will spontaneously arise and bring about personal transformation. You cannot make a real, personal trans- formation when you feel dissociated from the world or from a sense of self. You have to reconnect after you have disconnected from the distorted and painful patterns of body, speech, and mind. You have to connect with the qualities of true, open presence. Transfor- mative qualities will naturally come from that openness. By abiding with clear attention to the space of openness itself, you will develop patience and strength to host the arising of There are times on the path when I feel isolated from society and the people around me. Perversely, this always seems to be when I am meditating the most and really clearing my head. Superficialities and consumptive tendencies seem very exaggerated, and I find myself feeling alien in the world around me. I don’t think this is the proper response. What can be done to combat this? (LEFT–RIGHT):BARBARAWENGER,JANINEGULDENER,MARYLANG ZENKEI BLANCHE HARTMAN is former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center GESHE TENZIN WANGYAL RINPOCHE is a lineage holder of the Bön Dzogchen tradition of Tibet NARAYAN LIEBENSON GRADY is a guiding teacher at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center ASK THE TEACHERS Q