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Buddhadharma : Winter 2006
buddhadharma| 23 |winter 2006 Then there is a dharma sister with whom I began practice in 1969. As her Alzheimer’s progresses, she bubbles over with childlike affection, greeting all old acquaintances with enthusiastic hugs and delighted expressions of love. The third person is the great Cambodian teacher Maha Ghosananda. The last time I saw him was at a large dharma teach- er’s gathering at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He clearly seemed to be affected by some kind of senile dementia. When I approached him to pay my respects, he was sitting alone, smiling broadly. As I came closer, I was overwhelmed by a palpable physical experience of him “suf- fusing love over the entire world, above, below, and all around without limit,” as it says in the Metta Sutra. Seeing directly that such a result is possible with a life- time of practice, I am inspired to practice even more diligently. As Suzuki Roshi said, “Zen is making your best effort on each moment forever.” geshe TenZin Wangyal rinpoche: A basic principle of the Buddhist teachings and meditation practice is to feel the support of practice in moments of difficulty in every- day life situations. Every dharma practice we do prepares us to face our conditioned patterns – whether we’re dreaming or sleep- ing, experiencing sickness or adversity, or even dying. If, in your meditation practice, you clear away anger and cultivate lov- ing-kindness, when you later encounter a challenging situation, such as facing a perceived enemy, love naturally awakens. If you practice awareness throughout the day, as you fall asleep, awareness serves you in dreams, which become more lucid and provide opportunities to transform conditioned experiences into experiences of higher realization. By practicing with clear light as you enter sleep, experiences of clear light will awaken at a time when you normally lose awareness. If you become diagnosed with Alzheim- er’s or dementia, prepare as you would for death. Then, in those moments when you lose the reference points of self, clar- ity will naturally dawn. If you become familiar with love, compassion, joy, and equanimity through your practice, then as you begin to lose control, these qualities will naturally shine through. Through the practice of cultivating peace and clarity, they will penetrate and pervade all condi- tioned experiences. LIGMINCHA INSTITUTE at Serenity Ridge (our hilltop retreat center in rural Nelson County,Virginia) For information about retreats in the Bön Buddhist tradition please contact us: 434.977.6161 / firstname.lastname@example.org www.ligmincha.org A five-day teaching and practice retreat with Red Garuda HEALING PRACTICE April 18 – 22, 2007 The Red Garuda practice is considered a true path to enlightenment and is renowned for its healing powers. It is said to cultivate absolute fearlessness, and is par- ticularly effective in overcoming negative influences that can cause both physical and emotional illness. It is Tenzin Rinpoche's sincere wish that through this intensive study and practice opportunity, each student will find his or her own door to a life that is more physically healthy, energetically vital, and spiritually fulfilling. May all beings benefit! Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche ligmincha BD winter_06 9/27/06 1:46 PM Page 1 Big Mind Big Heart Peaceful Dwelling at Kanzeon Zen Center This year’s Spring Ango (Peaceful Dwelling) will be a unique combination of traditional Zen and daily Big Mind practice led by Genpo Merzel Roshi. Deepen and refresh your own life this Spring at Kanzeon. All are welcome and beginners are given special support. Part time attendance is available. Call us for further information. April 15 – May 13, 2007 www.kzci.org / bigmind.org 866.759.6137 / 801.328.8414