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Buddhadharma : Fall 2011
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fAll 2 0 11 46 He goes on to talk in some detail about the different states that arise for practitioners as they become more accomplished in the Way. About these states, the Buddha says, “What the practitioner has gained is temporary. There is nothing unwholesome about his state unless he thinks that he is now asage.Ifhedoesthinkheisasage,hewillbeopentoahost of deviant influences.” So how do teachers remain students? To truly be beginners is to remain aware that within oneself, all is not clear. We should be inspired by the dharma and inquire deeply into it; to be continually motivated to realize that which we have not yet seen and respectful of those habitual energies that may still have power. In other words, to be respectful of Mara— our own delusion—because it is a powerful force. This is an important aspect of the work that Daido Roshi did within the Mountains and Rivers Order these many years—to build into the structure, into the way we’re practicing and living together and training, precautionary measures to deal with these very powerful forces within us; measures that help us navigate and channel those energies into practice. This is the inner and outer upaya helping us to not turn away, to not defile the three treasures, to not betray others. In this koan, Yangshan responds to Guishan by saying, “Long ago in Sudatta’s garden, the Buddha expounded just this.” Guishan said, “That’s not enough. Say more.” And Yangshan said, “When it’s cold, to wear socks for others is not prohibited.” Daido Roshi says in his commentary, “We should understand that ‘to wear socks for others’ is a very personal matter. It is the seamless dharma activity that is the ten thousand hands and eyes of great compassion itself.” In that intimacy there is no betrayal. There’s no disappointment. There’s no turning away. But in the moment that distance appears, all suffering becomes possible. Practice is to cease- lessly close that gap, to see through its illusion.