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 2014
SPRING 2 0 1 4 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 53 actions will, in being variously understood and misunderstood, create confusion among sangha members who will act out their confusion in sometimes painful ways. You will have all kinds of complicated and contradictory feelings about people who come to practice with you—loving them, worrying about them, dreading them, see- ing them make terrible mistakes you can’t pre- vent, watching as they manipulate you and set you up for all sorts of falls. In the end, you will realize you can’t help them at all and will have to watch them suffer, or watch them make you suffer, and maintain your composure even so. I have spoken to many Zen teachers who are trying hard to get better at what they do—to see where they make mistakes and to correct those mistakes, maybe even to get some psychologi- cal or other training so they can understand the various twisted ways students sometimes present themselves. I have learned from commiserating with other teachers (something I think is essen- tial) and from my many mistakes. Ultimately, I think Zen teachers can no more learn than teach. Each situation, each person, is unique, and one’s own response, at that time, to that person, must and will inevitably be unique. I always trust my response and am, of course, willing to change or be corrected when proven wrong. But in the end, I know I’ll never get it right. Sometimes getting it wrong is the best thing anyway. It’s true that everything always turns out okay. When you really trust the process of the practice more than you trust your limited self, the limited sangha, or what happens in the short run, you realize that the magic of the practice is much stronger than you thought. It is not limited to what you or anyone says or does; it is not limited to meditation or what takes place in meditation halls or on temple grounds. I have seen how after leaving a place of practice in a huff or not in a huff, students’ lives miracu- lously turn around, sometimes five, ten, or twenty years later, because of unexpected circumstances that Buddha somehow placed in the middle of their lives long after they left. Sometimes the per- fect priest you thought you were ordaining needs to fall apart, leave, and go through many ups and downs for decades before she finally emerges as the Buddha you always knew she was. Or the wreck of a human being who was so disruptive and annoying and hopeless comes back to visit you decades later shining with love. And the crazy mixed-up young woman who seemed headed for certain doom returns with her three lovely chil- dren, grateful for the practice she seemed to have resisted mightily at the time. Seeing things like this happen over and over again, you do come round, finally, to trusting the practice—and life. This helps you trust yourself and the basic goodness of everyone you practice with. The secret ingredient in teaching Zen, it turns out, is the brilliant spark of human good- ness in each person. Practice awakens it, and it does the rest on its own eventually. You, the teacher, just have to be willing to be there, and be surprised.