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 : Spring 2015
spring 2 0 1 5 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 69 What is the Tao? Ordinary mind is the Tao. Shibayama’s commentary says, “Everyday mind just as it is, without any discrimination.” But the mind that is free of thought is not yet the ordinary mind Nanchuan is speaking about. If this mind were dependent on no thought, then we couldn’t live in accord with the Tao when thinking or speaking—we would still be giving our thoughts the power to liberate or confine us. In truth, the thought itself is not discrimination; this can only occur in the conditioned mind. Chao-chou asks the necessary question, “Then should I direct myself toward it?” In other words, “How do I practice this?” Nan-chuan answers, “If you try to direct yourself toward it, you move away from it.” Moving toward the real only creates more dis- tance; rather, “become completely familiar with it.” Don’t give it weight. Don’t take it lightly. Lose all sense of far away and near at hand. Let go of dis- criminating consciousness and you are, at that very moment, in accord with the Tao. How does water move toward wetness? How does fire get closer to heat? No one has ever moved closer to their original nature. But, Chao-chou says, “If I don’t try, then how do I know?” Again and again we hear the teaching of having faith, of trusting practice. Recently, I was think- ing about the early years of my training and all the ways in which my faith in practice was contingent on getting my way. I figured I could have deep faith, but only after I had put my doubts to rest. I would give up my ego-driven striving once I’d realized myself through striving. We too often approach practice using our dualistic, judging, striving mind, because that seems to have worked for us in the past, and it’s familiar. Only when we deeply yearn to be free of self-clinging, and to understand this life, is real faith in this dharma alive and present. What are we doing when we sit in zazen? Prac- tice is not mechanical. It’s not a method or tech- nique, and it’s not blank consciousness. That’s why Buddhist meditation emphasizes quieting the mind and incisive insight. Ultimately, we realize they are inseparable. Wu-men’s commentary says, “Nan- chuan immediately shows that the tile is disintegrat- ing, the ice is dissolving, no communication is pos- sible.” This is true intimacy. Hundreds of flowers in the spring, the moon in autumn. A cool breeze in summer, and snow in winter. If there’s no vain cloud in your mind, For you it is a good season. Wu-men is not talking about a managed life. He’s talking about a life well-lived, a life that is full and free, in which we attend to what we need to take care of but without a vain cloud in the mind. If we can deeply understand the power of mind, how we can both injure and benefit this world, we see that practice isn’t a luxury but an imperative. It’s like food and water. It returns us to ourselves, to our sanity, to our true capacity. “If there’s no vain cloud in your mind / For you it is a good season.” This good is not confined by our conventional notions of good and bad. It’s the simple, live joyfulness that comes from not wanting to be somewhere else, not wanting to be someone else, not waiting for a different time. The way is vast and boundless. The way is not apart from this mind. Study, train, and realize your original mind, the mind of all beings, sentient and insentient. Even if what we want is good— no wars, no injustice, no poverty—that’s not what is meant, within the dharma, by perfect. Even those terrible kinds of suffering are not outside of Tao. GeoFFrey ShuGen Arnold SenSei is head of the mountains and rivers order and abbot of the Zen center of new york city: Fire lotus temple. WilliamkandoJohnston