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 : Summer 2006
summer 2006| 50 |buddhadharma when we’re balancing the contemplative with the active, seeing that they’re just different expressions of the buddhadharma. To have a term like that helps us give that kind of work an identity. It’s an archetype, just like the bodhisattva ideal. beRnie Glassman: I agree. It was a helpful term that Thich Nhat Hanh gave to us. Of course, all of Buddhism is engaged, but it helps to qualify it in the way that Paul was talking about. We do have to be aware of the dangers of being too rigid about our practice, of defining it too narrowly, or we can create inhospitable places within our own communities. One time, at one of our centers, people were doing a very beautiful liturgy, The Gate of Sweet Nectar, in which we invite all the hungry spirits, all the unsatisfied, to come into our mandala, and we offer them the supreme meal of bodhi mind. They had just finished the liturgy, and a homeless person walked into the zendo where they were having the service, and one of the priests said, “You can’t be in here.” Another time, a doctor working with us was practicing and his beeper went off for an emergency, and he was chastised for disturbing the practice. paul halleR: One of my students recently told me he had been walking down the street with his mala, doing a mantra of compassion, when a homeless person approached him, and he told him to go away because he was interrupting his practice. buddhadhaRma: Despite the need to avoid a hard and fast dualism between meditation and action, many students do look for guidance on the proper balance between formal meditation practice and concerted action in the world. Robina CouRtin: If we were talking about music, the same question would arise: How much do you practice and how much do you perform for others or teach others? The answer seems obvious. The extent to which I have practiced is the only extent to which I can do something worthwhile for oth- ers. Otherwise, we’re just wasting time. The more I practice my piano, the more capable I am of put- ting it out there. If we’re practicing properly and have a sincere wish, we will respond to the need when it arises, better and better all the time. paul halleR: I’ve noticed that some people definitely come to practice through being of service – doing hospice, prison, or homeless work is the dharma gate they enter through. After a while, the other aspects of practice start to take on relevance and appropriateness. Perhaps in the orthodoxy of our Western practice situations, we think almost exclusively of people coming through the medi- If I look back ten or twenty years, or even fifty or sixty, I can see that I had to take the ingredi- ents of who I was at that point and try to make the best meal possible. That’s what I would do today. I do what I can with what I have and what I encounter. If somebody falls in front of me, I don’t say, “I can’t pick them up because I’m not enlightened enough,” or, “I haven’t purified myself enough.” If a person falls in front of me, I pick them up. It’s part of living. It is true that as one practices, one can see the environment a little more clearly and can do more, but there is never a need to wait for purity or enlightenment. paul halleR: We’ve all made it clear that it doesn’t make sense to hold up meditation in contrast to the many other things that we do. We would hope, however, that as practice matures, our preoccupa- tion with a small self diminishes, and everything in life just organically becomes our practice. As we open up, we start to see the suffering of the world. Then, quite naturally, we reach out to it and start to relate to it as helpfully and compassionately as we can. For myself, I never really intended to engage the world in a certain way. It just started to happen. buddhadhaRma: Does the term “engaged Buddhism” still work to describe Buddhism beyond the cush- ion or does it need to be updated? Robina CouRtin: I think you could consider it dual- istic, in the same way that Bernie was just talk- ing about. I don’t find it particularly necessary or useful. paul halleR: As dualistic as it might be, I think it has a place. I prefer the term “socially engaged Buddhism,” because “engaged Buddhism” makes it sound like there’s Buddhism that’s engaged and Buddhism that’s not engaged. We are in a time Soup kitchen run by the Zen Peacemakers group l’Un Est l’Autre, in Paris, France. Petercunningham