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Buddhadharma : Winter 2009
27 winter 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly (left-right):barbarawenger,maryellenmccourt,marylang The other teaching I appreciate and encourage is the cultivation of grati- tude. This life of ours is a gift. There is a teaching in the Tibetan tradition that everything we have comes to us through the kindness of others (includ- ing our bodies), and we have had so many rebirths that all beings have been our mother in some life. Therefore we should be as grateful to all beings as we are to our mother in this life. Meditation is the key resource for studying our mind and cultivating more skillful habits of thought. Zen teacher Kobun Chino once said, “The more you sense the rareness and value of your own life, the more you realize that how you use it, how you manifest it, is all your responsibility. We face such a big task, so naturally such a person sits down for a while. It’s not an intended action, it is a natural action.” geshe tenZin wangyal rinpoChe: The moment we experience disruption in our practice or in our life is in fact an oppor- tunity, or doorway, to let go and radically open. What we often do instead is react with aversion, tensing our body and becoming angry. We are trying to main- tain continuity of our sense of self, our focus, our agenda. This is the opposite of meditation practice. In our medita- tion practice we should not have a fixed goal, idea, or agenda to attain. Rather, our practice should support us in recog- nizing each moment in its aliveness and in connecting with clear, open aware- ness. Open awareness is not something we produce, but something we recognize. As we continue to practice meditation, we become increasingly familiar with openness. We discover that openness is the source of all positive qualities, such as loving-kindness or compassion for another. Ego is a complication, or obscuration, of this fundamental openness. Reading the question that was posed we can hear this complication expressed. There is a “me” who is absorbed and now inter- rupted, a “me” who becomes argumen- tative with an “other” who is so rude to interrupt, or so loud, etc. This back and