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Buddhadharma : Fall 2009
59 fall 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly of my major jobs is to facilitate students becoming present for their own experience, as opposed to saying to them, “This is what you should notice about your experience.” At that point, life is teaching them, life is leading them forward. BuddhadharMa: Fixing in general seems to be a big hang up, but that’s particularly the case when it comes to the body. I spent an inordinate amount of time using meditation as a tool to try to fix myself. Without success. Cyndi Lee: That’s a big challenge in yoga. You’re in downward dog and your hamstrings are too tight and your stomach is too big. Then you hate yourself, blah, blah, blah. But after a while, your hamstrings loosen up. The body is an incredible venue for shifting our paradigm of attachment and aversion. We start out objectifying ourselves, objectifying each other, but as we go on, there’s really no problem to be fixed. BuddhadharMa: We’ve talked about duality, which takes the form of the body–mind split. Is that split something especially pronounced in Western culture, as many have argued, or is it just part of human experience in all times and all places? reggie ray: That’s a fundamental question that everybody asks. The thinking mind represents an abstraction from concrete experience. To think about a glass of water is not the same as a glass of water. In Western culture, we take the abstracted image for the reality. We lose touch with our literal experi- ence, but in every culture there’s a tendency in that direction. It’s particularly pronounced if we persist in identifying the