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Buddhadharma : Spring 2015
82 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly spring 2015 That peace is not something we get by becoming anything. Instead it hap- pens by letting go, by allowing things to cease. That’s why we talk so much about cessation. When I’m feeling grumpy, I remember the teaching: “That’s going to change. Don’t make it a problem.” So I allow myself to be grumpy, which isn’t an indulgence in being grumpy or about laying that mood onto the other monks, but nor is it a denial of that grumpiness. It’s just recognizing that that which has a nature to arise has a nature to cease; I can awaken to that, and then it does cease. As I realize that more and more, it becomes a path of courage and confi- dence. There is the confidence to allow these things to be there, to make them fully conscious—to allow fear, anger, or whatever else to be fully present. The tendency to repress unpleasant experiences is powerful. We are pan- icked by conditions, and then they can become a threat. We try to push them away, but they come back. So if we find that certain conditions keep coming up in our lives, we have to ask, “Am I really allowing them to be conscious or am I pushing them away?” This balance between indulgence and repression is hard to find, although actually it’s very simple—it’s just awakening to the way it is right now. It’s a moment-to-moment practice, so when the question “Am I repressing or am I indulging?” arises, see that merely as doubt, a condition in the mind. Bring things into consciousness, saying, “This is the way it is now; I feel this way now.” Notice that there is no desire in that, no aversion. It’s not bound up with the desire to become or get rid of anything. There is no movement away from this moment toward another moment. It’s timeless. It’s immediate. It’s awakening here and now. Call it the five khandhas, the psycho- physical process, the mind-body experi- ence—or call it life. If it moves, don’t grasp it. Let go and respond from empa- thy and generosity rather than from craving, grasping, and all the stress that those entail. ➤ continued from page 31 Mention this ad and get 20% off a new one-year subscription dharma.net/monstore firstname.lastname@example.org • 845.688.7993 The Zen Practitioner’s Journal MR-PROMO • $32 in digital format mountainrecord.org Photo by Dimitris Giovis PACIFICZEN.ORG JOHN TARRANT AUTHOR OF BRING ME THE RHINOCEROS AND THE LIGHT INSIDE THE DARK LONG RETREATS 2015 SUMMER FALL OPEN MIND RETREATS 2015 SPRING SUMMER FALL JULY 1-6 OCTOBER 17-24 MARCH 5-8 JUNE 4-7 AUGUST 20-23