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Buddhadharma : Win 2012
WINTER 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 59 SHARON SALZBERG: I have watched as my own motivation for practice has shifted and changed through the years, and I think it’s always good to keep your eye on that as a barometer not only of your particular intention but of your wider understand- ing and purification. When I first started practicing, I was in so much turmoil and suffering that I frankly didn’t care that much about anybody else. I was looking to relieve my own suf- fering. That is a viable entry point for a lot of people because it’s very real and compelling. Yet, over time, I developed a much broader perspective of what practice is just through the force of my experience. It’s important to keep looking at your motivation—not with a sense of judging yourself, saying, “I’m not coming from the right place” or “I don’t have the right attitude,” but to see and actually be joyous about how that particular facet of your practice continues to grow. GAYLON FERGUSON: I would encourage trust in the basic good- ness of the path as it unfolds. Trust in your own basic goodness and in the basic goodness of your communities and families. That trust will naturally invite you to engage in different ways, and you should not refuse those invitations. We often speak of the particular challenges of our time, the twenty-first century, but it’s also a time of incredible ferment and opening, globally and locally. So that basic goodness of life, or of our particular time, is also bubbling and encouraging us to step outside, engage, and live fully. GEOFFREY SHUGEN ARNOLD: My encouragement is for each of us, as students of the Buddha’s teaching, to continue to develop bodhichitta and strengthen our own aspiration and resolve to truly realize the dharma and live it deeply. If we’re able to experience traditional training, we can then study closely what it is in those wisdom forms of training that are so helpful and work toward bringing some of the same elements into our ordinary circumstances. What makes a monastery powerful is, ultimately, not the building or the objects found there or even the particular people with whom we practice, but rather the empowerment of our own practice in that particular space, with that sangha. Seeing this, we can then move toward also empowering our home and work spaces and relationships with non-practitioners in the same way. Practice is not something that happens to us; it’s the moment-to-moment presence of the dharma in our body and mind, in our thoughts, words, and actions. L’Un Est L’Autre soup kitchen, which was inspired by Bernie Glassman’s Zen Peacemakers, serves the homeless of Paris PHOTOS PETER CUNNINGHAM