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 : Summer 2014
28 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY SUMMER 2 0 1 4 there is no gap between this truth and what the Buddha meant when he said, “Life is suffering.” The nine years of wall gazing moves us toward this kind of clarity. We must appreciate that life is suffering before we can recognize for ourselves that which, among all things, is formless: non- arising. Where does that fit into this picture? Is nonarising something beyond suffering? We can’t completely resolve this question until we see the full spectrum of self-making with all its layers. We—all of us—are masters at self-making. Then there is the transmission of the silent imperative—of sitting, wall gazing. I am reminded of Plato’s cave, in which a person faces a wall and is able to see only shadows. But in Bodhid- harma’s nine years of wall gazing, he saw right through that illusion and into the place where no forms arise. This is directly pointing to the human mind in the most effective way. We would do well to ask ourselves: why would someone like Bodhidharma continue sitting for sixty or seventy years after his enlightenment? Why is it that the Buddha sat every day for forty-two years after his enlightenment? This is zazen as the embodiment of “Vast emptiness, nothing holy,” of “I don’t know”; it is the realization of “Nona- rising is formless,” of “The human self is most exalted.” In the act of sitting down and facing that wall, Bodhidharma communicates all of this. Prajnatara on his deathbed says to Bodhidharma, “You have now acquired everything there is to know about all things”—and Bodhidharma keeps sitting. Dogen, in his “Universal Recommendations for Zazen,” says in the first paragraph: “Consider the nine years of Bodhidharma facing the wall. Consider Shakyamuni sitting for seven years.” Go there to appreciate what zazen is offering you, offering us. In a sense, Bodhidharma is will- ing to dramatize, to push us to places that are not comfortable, when he asks, “What is more important to you, your life or your clarity?” And he doesn’t let us hedge. Have you ever met someone who was willing to risk his or her life for freedom? I watched as my parents were trying to leave Poland, asking PHOTO | ANDREA SOSIO