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Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly summer 20 0 9 10 I fully appreciated Linda Heuman’s piece, “No Turning Back,” about Christine Skarda. I too came to the end of what conventional psychology and neuroscience have to offer. I am confused, however, about how the piece closes. Apparently Christine has been advised by none other than the Dalai Lama and Chetsang Rinpoche to remain in retreat for the rest of her life. How is this “the greatest gift that you’ll give to anyone else”? Given our Buddhist inclination to light another’s candle from our own, I wish she would come down from the mountain just occasionally and sit among us. Cameron L. Marzelli San Francisco, California In your Spring issue, the venerable Eido Shimano Roshi, in his excellent piece, “Just Say Hai!” describes a dharma sis- ter who vowed to attend fifty weeklong sesshins, which took her over eight years to accomplish. Incredible! But failing to be awakened, she gave up. I hope she reads Buddhadharma, because I’d like to tell her that I experienced a simi- larly disheartening roadblock, at which point I chalked up enlightenment to be only for the Einsteins of Buddhism, not meant for limited, not-exactly-brilliant fellows like me. Fortunately, I continued with my practice but in a different light. No lon- ger driven like a demon (who was in no way going to be exhausted), I adopted a less deliberate and assuming approach. I’ve learned that stillness can open not only in zazen, but also while washing a peach or stoking a fire for bath water— all of this creating fissures in the self’s illusion of substantiality. Please remember, dear dharma sis- ter, not to give up on your practice, and also not to go on trying so hard and so rigidly, for that too gets in the way. Determination, effort, and vows are important, but how much more so is sincerity! John Cooker Fairplay, Maryland u paya zen center buddhist chaplaincy training being with dying professional training weekly programs and retreats daily meditation & weekly dharma talks free and open to the public For the discovery of innate wisdom and compassion visit our website for 2009 programs santa fe, new mexico 505-986-8518 www.upaya.org u paya @upaya.org