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 : Fall 2014
BRINKMANPHOTOGRAPHY O ZEN BUDDHISTS PRAY? This question was raised recently among Zen teachers online when someone in a drought-affected area requested that others join in a collective effort “beseeching the blessing of rain in any way that speaks to you.” The ensuing online conversation made it clear that there is no “party line” regarding prayer. One teacher called prayer “well- meaning superstition,” akin to rubbing crystals or sacrificing goats; however, the same person later confessed to praying hard when his child was critically ill. Another teacher worried that if we pray for a resource like rain to fall in one dry area, we might effectively be asking for the rain to be diverted from another area. It turns out that’s not the case, but it would entail more water evaporating from oceans and lakes, which could then result in violent storms and flooding. Cause and effect are complicated. A scientist whom I consulted on the question advised, “Be careful what you pray for.” Many teachers answered that they do pray. But in a nontheistic religion, this raises some questions: to whom? To what? In daily Zen practice, it seems that often we are praying to our self—both our individual-limited- lifespan self and our larger self of boundless-interbeing. We aren’t praying for personal material gain; rather, we are praying in order to turn our hearts and minds toward the positive qualities of compassion and clarity. We are voicing an aspiration that we become able to extend compassion and wisdom to ourselves and others. The Paradox of Prayer Prayer is alive and well in Western Zen, says Jan Chozen Bays, even as it challenges us to make sense of what we’re doing. PHOTO | A. JESSE JIRYU DAVIS D