using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Winter 2006
buddhadharma| 15 |winter 2006 even illuminated, by your Zen practice. But the day will inevitably come when you will have to choose. You may delude yourself into thinking you can make a satisfactory synthesis. But real Zen is ruthless and uncompromising. It is a two-edged sword that destroys life and gives life. Before the Great Life arises, the Great Death must be experi- enced. And when the Great Death strikes, nothing remains. Only when all you have believed, clung to, supported yourself by, and cherished is swept away do you come to know what the Great Life of Zen is. From Zen pioneer: The liFe & WorKs oF ruTh Fuller sasaKi, By isaBel sTirling. puBlisheD By shoemaKer & hoarD, 2006. (see revieW on page 71.) hoW We get it all Wrong What we normally perceive as the true nature of things is the very opposite of how things really are. Bhikkhu Bodhi explains the phenomenon of inversions. Ignorance is a specific defilement that has been covering the minds of all unenlightened sentient beings through time without beginning. Now, ignorance functions in two ways, one negative, the other positive. In its negative role, ignorance simply obstructs us from seeing things as they are. It throws up clouds of mental darkness concealing the true marks of phenomena so that we ignore the real nature of things. But ignorance also has another function, a positive or creative role: it creates certain mental or cognitive illusions, called vipallasas; literally, inversions. These inversions infest the entire pro- cess of cognition, so that instead of seeing things as they really are, we see them in ways that are quite the opposite. In the impermanent, we see permanence; in what is bound up with pain and suffering, we see glimmers of pleasure; in what is not self, we seek our true identity, our self. The vipallasas twist our cognition and thereby send us on an inherently insatiable quest for gratification. That is why they are called inversions; they turn everything we encounter upside down. At the deepest level, the inversions sustain the continuity of samsara. The wheel of birth and death turns because we are deceived into believing that our notion of selfhood signifies some genuine identity. Our minds are attracted by the lure of a durable happiness to be found within the world. We run from one experience to another, from one life to the next, seeking to confirm our own real- ity. But this is somewhat like a donkey hitched to a cart, chasing a carrot dangling in front of him. The donkey pursues the carrot with all his might but never gets any closer to it. When the donkey gets tired of chasing the carrot, it stops running and relaxes, then tries again, because the carrot is always dangling before its eyes. We too run and pause, run and pause, run and pause. But unlike a donkey, we can see through the carrots dangling before our eyes. When we do so, we recognize the futility of chasing unreach- able carrots and we then seek the way to libera- tion, which, the Buddha points out, lies precisely in turning upright the three inversions. When the three inversions are turned upright, what we find is impermanence, suffering, and selflessness, and we find them in the five aggregates that constitute the fabric of our experience, which is why the Bud- dha says the five aggregates are “things to be fully understood.” When the five aggregates are fully understood, this brings the end of identification, the end of grasping, and the end of suffering. JuSt noW mind “Your whole life is just this moment, but you think it’s something else,” says Zen teacher Dae Kwang. “That’s where suffering comes from – it’s made by thinking.” Zen is very simple. It means just now, wake up. That’s all. The Diamond Sutra says, “Past mind cannot be attained, future mind cannot be attained, and present mind cannot be attained.” Human beings are always thinking about the past. If they’re not thinking about the past, they’re think- ing about the future. And if they’re not thinking about those two things, they’re thinking about the present. But the present already went by. Very interesting. So Zen always points to “just now.” When you think about cleaning the kitchen, you think it’s a gradual process. First you wash the ceil- ing; then you wash the cabinets; then you wash the dishes; then you scrub the floor. And then it’s clean. When you actually did it, there was just moment, to moment, to moment – do it. But, when you thought about it, you considered it a process. A process has past, future, and present. However, if you look at it closely, it doesn’t really have those three things, but you can think about these three things. Buddhism has a very radical teaching: there’s no process, there’s only this moment. You’re always in the moment, but you think you aren’t. That’s all. Tell me the truth, does anybody ever have the past? If you can bring me even one molecule of it, you’ll win the Nobel Prize in physics. You can think about the past, but you can never get it. The same is true of the future. Buddhism says that the past is dead and the future is just a dream. Maybe it’s a good dream, or maybe it’s a bad dream, but it’s just a kind of dream. If you cut off all thinking, past and future are the same. That’s very interest- ing; it means you can’t ever practice Buddhism. It’s not possible. anthonYrusso