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 : Win 2012
58 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY WINTER 2 0 1 2 There need to be specific techniques or skillful means to help students see that, and to begin to think about work, for instance, as part of their dharma practice. Otherwise, it’s like sending somebody into the meditation hall and saying, “Just do it.” We don’t do that; we give people fairly specific guidelines on how to begin the process, and then they can leap forward. BUDDHADHARMA: This points to the importance of the teacher. How can the teacher support the practitioner in his or her practice? GAYLON FERGUSON: As Shugen said, the teacher is someone who encourages us to have that larger view. She or he is the friend who invites us to be part of the team—the waking-up team, so to speak. And whenever we might feel like contracting back into the smaller picture, thinking, I’m just going to do my practice, the teacher is there to help us expand beyond that. SHARON SALZBERG: For me the two highlights of this conversa- tion have been implicitly the role of the teacher and more explicitly the role of the community, and the sort of collective effort to find our way in the expression of these values in our time, by both holding true to the tradition and finding the living manifestation of it right now. BUDDHADHARMA: It seems that the conclusion here is that medi- tation is indeed the best place to begin, and the rest of one’s practice will grow from that. GEOFFREY SHUGEN ARNOLD: I think that’s a big maybe. Medita- tion is a word. We tend to talk about it as though we all under- stand and are doing the same thing. But what is this person actually doing on the cushion? What is their understanding of what the dharma is? What are they seeking? What is their aspiration? It’s not enough to say just go back to your cushion and develop your meditation. I think there is a need for ever- maturing bodhichitta in our practice—a very clear sense of what this is and what its importance is and whose life is depending on it—particularly in our culture, which is so goal-oriented and materialistic and self-driven. I was reading some talks by early teachers in the Zen tradition in which every answer was: “Go, do zazen. Do zazen. Do zazen.” And I thought, no, it’s not enough just to meditate, you know? Yet if we begin to abandon meditation, that’s not going to work, either. BUDDHADHARMA: So where does this leave us? Where are we headed as Western practitioners, and where should we be headed? GEOFFREY SHUGEN ARNOLD: It’s inevitable that Buddhism in the West will go in many different directions. As Sharon has said, there are people who are not going to be interested in a Bud- dhism that is traditional on various levels, and I suspect there will be a time when people will be interested in a Buddhism that doesn’t specifically involve meditation. I think what’s important is that there be places where some of the older, deeper aspects of the tradition are being maintained so they don’t just disappear. SHARON SALZBERG: I also think it’s imperative that the classical presentations of Buddhism be preserved and that they flourish. Many people are devoted to that preservation and hopefully will continue to put their energy there. In my tradition, this includes the preservation of a monastic community. I think that will be a grounding point in the development of Bud- dhism in the West. GAYLON FERGUSON: From a practitioner’s point of view, these other aspects are an organic development and extension of meditation practice. Rather than presenting a problem, there’s a sense that these are aspects we need in order to bring medi- tation into action, so to speak. For some of us there’s already a sense of trust in that process of maturation, having seen it work out in many practitioners’ lives. We’re all pioneers. We’re all growing up and figuring this stuff out as we go along, seeing “Oh! That’s a blind spot.” Or “I’ve left that unattended to.” Or “I need to bring this ritual into my practice more, and that would be a benefit to the whole community.” BUDDHADHARMA: What words of encouragement or advice can you offer Buddhist practitioners who are still trying to find their way? The Buddha’s vision of an awakened life clearly included more than just being a meditator. The eightfold path includes not only right mindfulness and right samadhi but right speech, right action, and right livelihood. It’s really a complete way of life. — Gaylon Ferguson