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Buddhadharma : Fall 2014
78 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY FALL 2014 the realized life in accord with our cir- cumstances. I say “the realized life,” but here “life” is more than enough. In the grown-up world, this can only be taken up fully at the price of including our pain and fear, and that of others. If horns sprout on your head, that’s unbearable; If you rouse your mind to seek Buddha, that’s shameful. In a way, rousing our mind to seek Buddha can be a commendable urge to go deeper, for inevitably we feel that whatever we’ve realized isn’t enough. But continuing to ask, “What is Buddha?” after we’ve realized can also be a way of refusing to cross the bridge to fully enter our lives. If we find ourselves dazzled by the ancient koan, and if its allure makes our life seem shabby in comparison, we need to take care. Rousing our minds to seek Buddha can also be a way of showing off our striving, to ourselves, at least. It can become an addiction and a pose. It’s dis- ingenuous to say, “I’ve become a begin- ning student all over again,” when that apparent humility is subtly infected by our knowingness or by the pride we take in our humility. Again, we might believe that it is wrong to give up our efforts after enlight- enment, and consequently rouse our minds to seek Buddha as a way of con- firming that each thought is Buddha and that our very questioning is Buddha. But by doing so, we unwittingly reintroduce subject and object all over again. Now, finally, there is no need to seek Buddha. With no separation between our lives and our practice, we are hope- fully at ease. Hopefully too, not even the wisest can detect any residue of realization in our words or actions, nor find the tracks of the ancestors in our footprints. In the vastness of the empty kalpa there is no one who knows— The Sanskrit term kalpa means “a world age,” an endlessly long period of ➤ continued from page 33 INSIGHT MEDITATION SOCIETY IMS’s Forest Refuge program is for experienced meditators only. For more information, visit www.dharma.org or call 978-355-2063 Deepen your practice Experience a personal retreat at IMS’s Forest Refuge • Choose the length of your stay – retreat periods range from seven nights to a year or more • Develop an individual program of silent practice – supported by teacher talks and interviews • Balance solititude with community – meditate with others or in your private room • Strengthen practice faith, confidence and self-reliance