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 2010
15 winter 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly the faith that sustains us Trusting in the intrinsic power of goodness, says Bhikkhu Bodhi, equips us to take up the call of humanitarian service without burning out. Worldly wisdom tells us that to volunteer time, money, and energy on relief work is naive and self-defeating. To a calculating mind, a commitment to humanitarian service not only deprives us of benefits we could eas- ily enjoy ourselves, but also forces us to face facts we prefer to avoid. We like images of laughing children, fields of bright flowers, well-trimmed lawns, and dancers gently sway- ing in pink and purple spotlights. Images of hungry people in distant lands spoil the fun. But sometimes a higher ethical calling speaks to our conscience, bidding us to swim against the current of our natural inclinations. Like dharma practice itself, humanitarian service requires patience, effort, mindfulness, and renunciation. So what can we rely on to sustain us in this work, to help us move against the current? One sustaining quality is expressed by the Pali word saddha, usu- ally translated as faith. In this context, faith doesn’t mean belief in specific doctrines, not even the doctrines of Buddhism. This kind of faith might best be described as a confidence in the power of goodness: the conviction that to do good is inherently valuable, an activity that brings deep gratification and attunes us to a force greater than our individual being. When we undertake service to others, inev- itably we expose ourselves to risk. We risk burning out; we risk lack of appreciation; we risk failure. But faith in the intrinsic power of goodness equips us to face those risks. It uplifts us, nurtures our resolve, and connects us to a greater reality. Common sense tells us that the purpose of our lives is to follow our fancy, to spend and consume, to push our way to the top. It tells us that we’re entitled to step on others to achieve our goals. But when we take up the call of humanitarian service, our perspec- tive changes. We regard everyone as worthy of respect, as deserving a chance to live with hope and dignity. We rely on the faith that a law, a principle, an inner truth is silently at work, supporting generosity over miserliness, compassion over apathy, and altruism over selfishness. Hidden by the face of appearances, it’s always there, as integral to the working of the universe as the dance of electrons or the ceaseless pulsing of the stars. When we place trust in this law, we find that selfless service casts our own lives in a new light. It pulls down the hard walls of nar- row self-concern, suffuses us with energy, and expands our sense of shared identity until it encompasses the whole. This faith turns labor into love, self-sacrifice into ultimate self-ful- fillment. And with that we acquire an enrich- ing sense of purpose, a fountain of joy and meaning more rewarding than all the petty trophies of the ego-self. From the buDDhist Global relieF newsletter, summer 2010 who would you be? Buddhist nun Karen Schaefer (Ani Pema Chödrön), a student of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, takes heart in her teacher’s aspirations to be reborn as a black woman. One of the biggest events during my six- month stay in Bhutan was the visit of Dungtse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse kimscafuro