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Buddhadharma : Win 2012
WINTER 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 11 BEHIND DOOR NUMBER THREE When we realize the emptiness of self and the truth of enlightenment, we see there is nothing to strive for. Thich Nhat Hanh on aimlessness, the third door of liberation. One gatha from the sutra Yogacarabhumi- shastra says that all of us contain a stream and that we don’t have a separate self. It reads: “Living beings is the name of a con- tinuous stream, and all phenomena as the object of perception are only signs. Therefore there is no real change of birth into death and death into birth and no person who realizes nirvana.” There are two things this gatha is teaching us. First, we don’t have a separate ego, a sepa- rate self. And second, everything comes from our perceptions; everything is an object of our perception. There is no one who attains nirvana, because if there is no separate self, then who will do that? At first we think we have to choose: Either we are in the ocean of death and birth, and then we suffer, or we are in nirvana, so we don’t have to suffer. But after that, we have to go further in our under- standing. We have to see that birth and death are nirvana. If we are deeply in touch with birth and death, then we are in touch with nirvana. These two things are not separate, and because of that, there is nobody in the stream of birth and death, and there’s nobody to go to nirvana. So we don’t have to do any- thing. We don’t even have to practice. In Buddhism we have three doors of lib- eration. The first door is emptiness, the sec- ond door is signlessness, and the third door is aimlessness. Aimlessness means that you don’t need to go anywhere and you don’t need to aim for anything; you are what you are searching for. When the river realizes that she’s water, and that the cloud is in her because she is also water, she has no aim to run after, and she is in peace. It’s the same with us: We run after the Buddha; we run after satori, enlighten- ment. But you don’t need to run after enlight- enment; you are already enlightened. Steadily there, peaceful, clear in your mind—you are already what you are searching for. FROM THE MINDFULNESS BELL, SUMMER 2012 CONCERTO IN EGO MINOR Ven. David Xi-Ken Astor finds inspiration for his meditation practice in the legendary classical pianist Glenn Gould. I was watching a documentary about the late pianist Glenn Gould, perhaps the great- est interpreter of Johann Sebastian Bach of any generation, and was struck by how he seemed to disappear behind the work he FIRST THOUGHTS ILLUSTRATIONS STACY INNERST