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 2007
buddhadharma| 53 |summer 2007 at us and say the transmission of buddhadharma from East to West took place during the twentieth century. It was great or it was terrible, whatever the case may be, but for us, it’s just fifty years, which is a bit too early for me to evaluate and consider changing. ponlop rinpoChe: The Indian master Chandrakirti addressed this concern with the analogy of mon- keys swinging from one tree to the next. A skillful monkey won’t let go of the branch it’s holding on t o until it gets a good grip of the next branch. If it lets go of the previous branch too soon, it will fall to the ground. That’s a good way of thinking about transplanting the dharma in any country. We have to have some form of Western Buddhism or American Buddhism, but we have to take care that nothing whatsoever gets lost in the transformation. buddhadharma: Eido Roshi, do you feel there is a possibility of Zen becoming marginal by being too conservative? eido roShi: This is a difficult question. If we are talking about Zen involving koan study, some of the koans and the koan stories are quite sub- tle, perhaps exotic from a Western point of view. They are exotic enough from a Japanese point of view. But the key point is that one has to have a really lucid realization. Otherwise, koan study could simply become building up credits one after another. One must have the first real good break- through to the true taste of dharma. I would also like to say that, sooner or later, Zen Buddhism will inevitably be Americanized, but here we have the possibility of returning to the point in the thirteenth century before Soto and Rinzai arose as separate traditions. In Japan they can never be combined, but in America that could in fact be done. It’s a most exciting time for us, to see the possibility of that kind of union coming about. Stephen batChelor: I deeply respect those who com- mit themselves to following in the time-honored traditions of the various lineages, all of which are available to just about anyone in any city in America. For a young man or woman who wants to train in the dhamma, that’s what I feel they should do. They should not try to adapt anything, but go back to the source and train, putting aside Western assumptions and prejudices. At the same time, we have the demands of our society. The world is calling out for a means to deal with the suffering of the modern world in a language that people who are not necessar- ily Buddhists can understand. As a practitioner, then, you are called upon to constantly reconsider your rootedness in tradition and at the same time respond, in perhaps unprecedented ways, to the global situation. We might learn a great deal about that by look- ing back to the kind of dhamma that was practiced in the sangha at the time of the Buddha. You don’t get any sense at all that these men and women were doing ritualistic or devotional practices. There were no images of the Buddha until five hundred years after the Buddha’s death. It was an open kind of community, comparable to the ancient Greek communities of Stoics or Epicureans, who did not think of themselves necessarily as religious. I’m not sure the Buddha and his followers thought of themselves in religious terms. In the origins of our tradition, we find empha- sis on qualities of mind and on practice, but very little sense of any formalism. Yet the traditions of today – the Japanese traditions, the Tibetan tradi- tions – all of them have evolved particular forms of practice and styles of ritual. Of course, practitio- ners who have committed themselves to those have to practice them. But there’s an important distinc- tion between being rooted in a tradition and being stuck in a tradition. To be rooted in a tradition like Buddhism is absolutely necessary, but it’s also possible to become attached to certain doctrines, to certain ways of doing things, that do not allow you to grow. They become another form of attachment. From rootedness, we need to be able to respond anew to what the world presents to us. Joan Sutherland: I have great faith in the robustness of the dharma. It will survive our best efforts to either preserve or improve it. I spoke with my stu- dents about the questions we’re addressing today, and they definitely felt that there is a danger of our practice here becoming too much of a self-improve- ment project. Yet what they mainly wanted to say luvinaaParicio