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 2005
buddhadharma| 61 |fall 2005 drop believing in something or someone, especially the fiction of a separate self. We must recognize the ways in which we impede our buddhanature, the ways in which we put all our energy into sys- tems that support the fiction of an ego-entity, or a “separated individuality,” as the Diamond Sutra puts it. We must simply give our entire being over to buddhanature. There are so many books being written about the Buddha way these days, and of course we can be inspired by something that resonates with our own intuitive understanding. But the compulsion to own every Buddhist title is no different from any other addiction, and is based on a deep lack of confidence. What can we read in someone else’s writings that can really free us? Can we be freed by another’s experience? What about the wind? The wind is unbound. No binding, right? No slipcase, no volume, no page number. The wind is always coming and going, but we are too busy rushing around searching for it to experience it. Searching outwardly, lacking self-confidence – this is a lack of faith, or trust. The word faith, like the word belief, has trou- blesome connotations. What does it imply? All belief systems demand faith in someone, or some- thing. In the Diamond Sutra, Buddha warns about holding onto anything whatsoever, saying, “This Dharma is like a raft. The Buddha teaching must be relinquished. How much more so misteaching!” and, also, “In case anyone says that the Tathagata realized Supreme Enlightenment, I tell you truly, Subhuti, that there is no formula by which Buddha realized it. The basis of the Tathagata’s realization of Supreme Enlightenment is wholly beyond; it is neither real nor unreal. Therefore I say that the whole realm of formulations is not really such; it is just called realm of formulations.” How do we realize the great faith that is beyond that realm of formulations? Perhaps the word trust carries less of the connotative quandary. Trust in what? That very question is the essence of trust. Trust in what? This. What is this? As long as we answer with a question, we’re OK. Answers shut us down; they shut down our inquiring spirit. In order to get through our com- plicated, demanding, challenging lives, we feel we need to find solutions to our problems; we’ve been taught that problems must be solved. So this practice, from the beginning, is going counter to everything we’ve been trained to do. We can’t just sit down and ignore this fact. We have to see the brainwashing for what it is. Whether we are working on a koan or following our breath or just listening or just sitting, we cannot do it unless we realize the extent to which we have been pro- grammed to search for the answer outside our- selves. When we do see this, we can put energy into the slow, relentless process of letting go, of deconstructing, of deconditioning. Then we can realize that confidence in ourselves means confidence in the breeze, confidence in the sunlight, in the snowflakes, in the birds, in the mosquitoes – confidence in the fact that we are not apart from anything; we are not alien. We are not a separated individuality. We are the mosquito; we are the breeze. To have confidence in ourselves is to have confidence in this. This is trust. No matter what we can possibly do in this short and fleeting life, without trust we are stuck being the traffic cop, trying to make everything go our way, accord- ing to our one-sided and self-deluded views. To have confidence in ourselves requires that we fully testify to what Master Hakuin says in The Song of Zazen: “Sentient beings are primarily all buddhas.” Fundamentally, each one of us is a buddha. Have faith in THIS! Recently at the Zen Center of Syracuse we had a purification empowerment given by a wonder- ful Tibetan lama in the Gelugpa tradition, Lopsang Jinpa Rinpoche. The ceremony began with the dropping away of the bundle of karmic condition- ing and negativity we firmly believe in – what we ordinarily mean by the self. Then we could enter into what we call emptiness, mu, nothing what- soever, no trace, the sound of one hand, This. But calling it anything, of course, is adding something. So we dropped body, dropped mind, and then, step by step, took refuge in Buddha, dharma, sangha. We purified our hearts through confession of all our ancient, twisted karma – even the most minutely subtle, accrued karmic stickiness. Looking unflinch- ingly at the ways in which we perpetuate our greed, our anger, and our delusion, and with deep, deep, strong intention, we purified it all. This entry into the empowerment ceremony was, of course, exactly what we do in our own Zen tradition, if we are truly engaging in the chanting we do at morning service. A misunderstanding of such a ceremony, and indeed of our own morning service, is that it is something that happens to us, that we just sit there and recite sutras and thus we become better human beings. Well, maybe so! Certainly doing that even in the most passive man- ner is more helpful than many things we might be doing during that hour. But to really participate in the transformation that is being offered requires our great effort. Again, there is the chance for misunderstand- ing when we hear the word effort. What is meant by “great effort,” or “great determination”? It means no gaining idea – no dependence upon out- come – just purely throwing ourselves away and entering into the vibrant experience of chanting Roko SheRRy Chayat iS abbot of the Zen CenteR of SyRaCuSe hoen-ji. She ReCeived dhaRma tRanSmiSSion fRom eido t. Shimano RoShi in 1998, beComing the fiRSt ameRiCan woman to ReCeive offiCial tRanSmiSSion in the RinZai Zen tRadition. (Facing page) Bodhidharma (Daruma), Inscription: “Don’t know” by Jiun Onko (1718−1804) Hanging scroll; ink on paper ColleCtionofSylvanbaRnetandWilliambuRto