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Buddhadharma : Spring 2015
spring 2 0 1 5 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 17 in love with the earth will our actions spring from reverence and the insight of our interconnectedness. Yet many of us have become alienated from the earth. We are lost, isolated, and lonely. We work too hard, our lives are too busy, and we are restless and distracted, los- ing ourselves in consumption. But the earth is always there for us, offering us everything we need for our nourishment and healing: the miraculous grain of corn, the refresh- ing stream, the fragrant forest, the majestic snow-capped mountain peak, and the joyful birdsong at dawn. We need to consume in a way that keeps our compassion alive. Yet many of us con- sume in a way that is violent. Forests are cut down to raise cattle for beef or to grow grain for liquor while millions in the world are dying of starvation. Reducing the amount of meat we eat and alcohol we consume by 50 percent is a true act of love for ourselves, for the earth, and for one another. Eating with compassion can already help transform the situation our planet is facing and restore balance. There’s a revolution that needs to happen and it starts from inside each one of us. We need to wake up and fall in love with the earth. FROM MindFulness Bell, AuTuMN 2014 don’t kid yourself Your practice isn’t going to change the world, says Jules Shuzen Harris, but if you’re diligent it might just make a dent in you. The only person you can change is the one sitting on the zafu. You can’t change me. You can’t change your partners and you can’t change your kids, even though you’ll keep trying. You can’t change anything. We resist that. This is very hard to accept, but it is necessary if we are going to be free. If we’re honest, we will see that on some level we don’t want to devote ourselves to anything or anyone. You’re not going to be free if you are doing a country club Zen practice. It might feel good some days, bad other days. But this practice is not about feeling good. If you want to feel good, go get a massage. Buddhism is not about suffering; it is about joy. How the hell are we going to have joy if we run around expecting the world to change because we feel some dis- comfort? Spiritual practice isn’t about safety and security. If you are here and you want to be free, then this is the place where you can learn that. But you can’t be free until you look at every aspect of yourself and work on it. That’s what the practice is. FROM A DhARMA TALK GIVEN AT SOJI ZEN CENTER “ have you noticed that i never ask you about your past? ” — Nyogen yeo Roshi on the difference between Buddhism and psychotherapy