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Buddhadharma : Summer 2005
summer 2005| 22 |buddhadharma experience and deepen your faith in the goodness of the teachings and their effec- tiveness in lessening suffering. naraYan lieBenson GradY: Because you are a beginner, I would recommend more prac- tice and less study. Having a framework for the practice is essential for a sense of vision and wise effort. However, if you have a limited amount of time, focusing more on the sitting practice right now would be a better use of your time. Reading one’s own heart is often harder than reading the best of dharma books. Sometimes people depend too much on secondhand knowledge, rather than rely- ing on direct experience and looking deeply at the nature of their own mind. Thus, to renounce reading for particular periods of time can be quite powerful as long as one is engaged in a serious practice. Of course, after some years of prac- tice, studying more intensively can be very nourishing. But this means reading in a contemplative way – digesting and applying what has been read – instead of relating to dharma books as a kind of entertainment or as a substitute for practice. Reading and contemplating the original discourses of the Buddha is invaluable. There are many books these days that interpret what the Buddha said in contemporary language, and they can be most helpful. Dharma centers some- times have suggested reading lists and you might write to a center in your tradition and ask for one. Or, instead of trying to study completely on your own, you could con- sider taking advantage of a study program, such as those offered at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Finally, if you would like a recommendation for my all-time favorite dharma book, it is What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula. WE WOULD LIkE TO THANk the following people and organizations for their help in the production of this issue of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly: Kyra Borre • Fujin Butsudo • Thayer Case • Kristen Cole • King Dexter • Dia Art Foundation • Eliz Dowling • Barbara Dufty • Peter Gregory • Shannon Wakoh Hickey • Clark and Pat Johnson • Monica Joyce • Kwong Roshi • Mary lang • Susan Moon • Michael David Murphy • Denise nguyen • Ron nieberding • Camara Ra-Jabari • Rubin Museum of Art • Kate Saunders • Rithcool Seng • Richard Serra • Ganden Thurman Main House at Zen Mountain Monastery in upstate New York “Home of the Eight Gates Training Matrix” Abbot: John Daido Loori, Roshi Fire Lotus City Temple – Zen Center of New York City “Because the fire burns, the lotus blooms.” Resident Teacher: Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei Dharma Communications “Support for your spiritual practice.” Media support for spiritual practice at home Society of Mountains and Rivers “World-wide spiritual community.” Network of affiliate groups from New Jersey to New Zealand National Buddhist Prison Sangha “Finding the freedom within.” Director: Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei Zen Environmental Studies Institute “On behalf of wilderness.” Retreat sites in the Catskills and Adirondack Mountains For information, contact us at: Zen Mountain Monastery P.O. Box 197SS · Mt.Tremper, NY 12457 (845) 688-2228 · email@example.com See our award-winning web site at www.mro.org for a comprehensive overview of the MRO. Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism