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Buddhadharma : Summer 2006
buddhadharma| 47 |summer 2006 to my mother from Thailand in 1978 in which I wrote, “you know, in truth, you’re not really my mother.” Something in me doesn’t want to remember having done that, but I have a sinking feeling that I did. Anyway, we exchanged a number of rather tense letters in those days, when I was “full of the light” in Thailand, but this one certainly represented the nadir. In retrospect, it was pretty awful and very embarrassing. When my mother received this particular inspired declaration, she pointed out that she definitely was my mother since nobody else was. She wrote, “I care about you because you are my son, not because you are a Buddhist monk – compris?” Even at that time, I realized this was a totally appropriate response. I wasn’t tak- ing hold of the principle correctly. How- ever, when that insight is present and we don’t pick it up wrongly, we can genu- inely see this change of lineage, without getting the relative and the ultimate planes confused. There is that relationship with our parents in this flow of karmic formations, but the lineage of our true reality is fun- damentally rooted in the dhamma. That’s the source, the origin, the basis. Rather than thinking of one’s physical parents as the origin, we can have the clear real- ization that that’s just part of the situa- tion. It’s the Uncreated, the Unformed, the Unborn, the Unconditioned that’s the genuine source, the genuine origin, the basis, the ground of reality. We can fully respect the convention and we can base our practice on the insight that all sankharas arise and cease, that all dhammas are not-self. There’s nothing to get heated about, nothing to get carried away by; it’s just life doing its dance. The heart can remain serene, stable, clear, and bright. Which, of course, is what makes it possible for us to be of benefit to others, whether they be our parents, our children, our teachers, or our students. Pat Horner passed away peacefully at home on July 16, 2003, with her three children and her son-in-law Tony, whom she loved as a second son, at her side. jAnehill