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Buddhadharma : Winter 2007
buddhadharma| 55 |winter 2007 Jack kornfield: This whole discussion of the Western approach and its relationship to Buddhism is not an either/or proposition. There are important things to learn from psychotherapy and science that complement and support deep dharma prin- ciples. That’s the dance we’re involved in. We have to become comfortable with paradox. In the early years, meditation was going to do everything. You would sit with certain Vipassana teachers or Zen masters or lamas and if you said depression or anxiety or fear or sexual abuse trauma was coming up, they would just say it’s all empty. There was so much focus on empti- ness that respect and compassion for the world of feeling and form was not really valued. But it’s actually through our suffering, our conflicts, our trauma that we understand what real empti- ness is. We can find the necessary healing in our lives and use the skillful means of interpersonal relations—close relations with teachers, therapy at times—and ground them in the great vision of dharma. That’s being a mature dharma student. Anything else would be a one-sided, fundamen- talist view, rather than the view of someone who is thoroughly dedicated to the liberation of their own heart. Tel Aviv Man IX, 2006 Steel ©JaumePlensa,CourtesyGalerielelonG,neWyork