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 : Winter 2015
winter 2 0 1 5 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 63 the earliest texts we have, nibbana signifies the end of rebirth into samsara, thereby the liberation from this world of suffering, craving, and delu- sion. Insofar as we escape it individually, one by one, ultimately my well-being is distinct from your well-being. Yes, I hope that you will awaken too, but nevertheless my enlightenment is separate from yours. Such a dualistic understanding of the Bud- dhist path does not invite us to engage with ecologi- cal and social problems. Rather, it can encourage a belief that we should not waste our time trying to reform this unsatisfactory world; instead, we should concentrate on transcending it. How literally should we take “the end of rebirth”? Nagarjuna, founder of the Madhyamaka school, famously declared that “there is no distinc- tion at all between samsara and nirvana.... The limit of nirvana is the limit of everyday life.” In other words, there’s only this world, but there are different ways of experiencing it. So the Mahayana tradition emphasizes that enlightenment involves realizing the “emptiness” (shunyata) of things, including ourselves. Depending on how we under- stand this, however, our view of emptiness can also discourage social or ecological concern. Joanna Macy’s contribution to A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency focuses on some “spiritual traps” that can hinder us from engaging with the world. The first is any view that devalues the world in comparison with some “higher” spiritual reality. Macy criticizes the view that the phenomenal world is merely an illusion: “Impermanent and made of matter, it is less worthy than a realm of pure spirit. Its pain and its demands on us are less real than the pleasures or tranquility we can find in transcending them.” To see the phe- nomenal world only as an illusion is to dwell in an emptiness that is disengaged from the forms of this world. “According to this view,” says Macy, “free- dom from suffering is attained by nonattachment to the fate of all beings, rather than nonattachment to The Heart Sutra asserts that forms are empty, yet it immediately adds that emptiness is not other than forms. And forms—including the living beings and ecosystems of this world—suffer. matters of the ego.” But the Buddha did not teach that nonattachment means indifference to what is happening in the world, to the world. The Heart Sutra asserts that forms are empty, yet it immedi- ately adds that emptiness is not other than forms. And forms—including the living beings and ecosys- tems of this world—suffer. Other spiritual traps are more worldly. Since many modern Buddhists aren’t attracted by the traditional Asian goal of ending rebirth, the path is sometimes understood as a program of psycho- logical development to help us let go of afflictive emotions and resolve personal problems. Today, innovative types of Buddhist-inspired psycho- therapy are providing new perspectives on psycho- logical well-being and practices that promote it by reducing the three poisons—greed, ill will, and delu- sion—right here and now. There is much to appreci- ate about this new development, which is reducing dukkha. Nevertheless, there is a difficulty if one believes that all problems are due to the way the mind works; the solution, then, is simply to change the mind rather than change the system. While much of traditional Buddhism is con- cerned about transcending (in one way or another) this unsatisfactory world, much of modern Bud- dhism is about adapting to it better. In the first case, this world is the problem because it is a place of