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Buddhadharma : Summer 2007
buddhadharma| 21 |summer 2007 self rather than to let go of any idea of self that separates you from the inherent completeness of the true self. Suzuki Roshi many times admonished us to sit “with no gaining idea,” to “make our best effort on each moment with no gaining idea.” This has been a major koan for me. What does it mean to make total effort with no gaining idea? Notice that any gaining idea implies that just this is not complete as-it-is. So the first quality I recommend in a teacher is that he or she sees Buddha in you and in everyone. Also ask yourself, do you aspire to be like your prospective teacher? Does he or she only talk about wholehearted practice or do it in every day activity? My first teacher died, and I have had to choose other teachers over the years. Some have been more eloquent than others, but in each case, I believe, how a teacher actually lives is at least as important as what he or she says. It’s also important to find a teacher who can be kind and encouraging when you need encouragement and tough and strict when you are being selfindulgent or selfsatisfied. Both the kindness and the strictness are indispensable. I am happy to know that you have been practicing wholeheartedly with your current teacher and sangha. For the ben efit of all beings, I wish you many more years of committed practice. I also wish for you the joy of finding and settling on a teacherstudent relationship that you can commit to without reservation. That depends as much on you as it depends on the teacher. It is fine (and a part of the Zen tradition) to visit many teachers. But at some point you need to “dig one deep hole instead of many shallow holes,” as Suzuki Roshi once said to us. If you are truly drawn to a new pri mary teacher and decide to change, that is also all right if you take care to inform your current teacher of your decision and express your sincere gratitude for all of his or her care and effort on your behalf. You sound like a person who has made a commitment to practice. I sincerely hope that you find the confidence to also make a commitment to a teacher. nArAYAn lieBenson grAdY: In the Theravada tradition, teachers cultivate an attitude of nonattachment when it comes to working with yogis. A teacher is called a kalyana- mitta, which means spiritual or noble TIBETAN SOUND HEALING Tibetan Sound Healing Book and CD $19.95 plus S&H Available from Ligmincha Institute’s BOOKSTORE & TIBET SHOP firstname.lastname@example.org Toll Free: 866.522.5269 www.ligminchastore.org Seven Guided Practices for Clearing Obstacles, Accessing Positive Qualities, and Uncovering Your Inherent Wisdom, Sounds True, 2006 New book by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche For Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's worldwide teaching schedule please go to www.ligmincha.org “Highly recommended.” —MyShelf.com “Now, with Tibetan Sound Healing, you can connect to the ancient sacred sounds of the Bön practice—and through them, activate the healing potential of your natural mind.” —Sacred Pathways Magazine “I am happy to report I have a new favorite meditation CD that I've been chanting to, and it is included with the new release, Tibetan Sound Healing.” —New Age Journal “Bön, the indigenous religion of Tibet, has its most prominent ambassador to the West in Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.” — Tricycle Magazine ̊anzeon www.genpo.org 801.328.8414 email@example.com Kanzeon Zen Center 1274 East South Temple Salt Lake City Utah 84102 Fall Equinox Big Mind Zen Retreat Bodhidharma Sesshin September 16 - 23, 2007 Big Mind Month-Long Training Retreat The Path of the Human Being October 20 - November 17, 2007 Big Mind Zen Retreat Rohatsu Sesshin December 2 - 9 , 2007 Fall 2007 Events at Kanzeon Zen Center International Led by Genpo Merzel Roshi with Diane Musho Hamilton Sensei Daniel Doen Silberberg Sensei Michael Mugaku Zimmerman Sensei