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Buddhadharma : Spring 2017
spring 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 19 interest is about—to see if it’s because you have no interest in understanding one of the dominant forces of our culture, or if per- haps there’s something else at play. The resistance part is so important. What is that resistance about? Why is this not an important part of your dharma explora- tion? Because dharma is about everything, and this is a huge part of our lives. We’re not just practicing in order to become good meditators. When we first started the diversity com- mittee on BCBS’s board of directors, I half- jokingly said that we should really call it the Relevance Committee. Because it’s not about diversity—it’s about being relevant to society. This isn’t some niche topic. This is the reality of the world. It’s the reality of our existence. Some people are extremely resistant to doing this work, and most frustrating for me is when that resistance is put in terms of a superior dharmic understanding. Well- meaning, white sangha members continue to say that this work is divisive and goes against the teachings—as if people of color have never thought about anatta or interde- pendence. Like it never dawned on us. That kind of dharma arrogance is more frustrat- ing than the pace of change. FROM InsIght Journal, PuBLIShED By BARRE CENTER FOR BuDDhIST STuDIES don’t stop at samadhi No matter how far you’ve come in your practice, says James Myoun Ford, you can always take one more step. Among the mistakes along this Way is rejecting the world, which is just another shutting down. This is one aspect of the path of pernicious oneness, a rejecting of the reality of differentiation. This, however, is the deal: there is no oneness separate from differentiation. It is just another differentiation—although a useful one, at least at providing a glimpse of something bigger. And that glimpse has an associated state: samadhi. And it feels good. It lures one into deeper and deeper states. Tasty, lovely, inviting, but all just states, and therefore subject to change. For those who cling to them, they’re just one more dead end. The koan about stepping away from the top of the hundred-foot pole isn’t about stepping away from our sense of separation into emptiness; rather, it is about stepping away from our sense of emptiness. One more step. There is always one more step. It is the real invitation of Zen, the invitation to complete freedom. But that freedom is like a poem, haiku, or sonnet: it is found within a specific structure. That structure is you. It is me. You in all your glorious messi- ness, me clinging and crying and hating and fighting and loving and singing and dancing. All of it, from bedroom to kitchen to toilet. All of it. So, proceed. Throw yourself on the pil- low. Throw yourself into the moment. Pay attention. Love. But never squeeze the life out of any one thing. Never reject any one thing. This is always opening the hand of thought, always returning to the beginning. Is this a call to reject samadhi states? No. This is a call to open ourselves up and to never stop. FROM ThE BLOG Monkey MInd, DECEMBER 11, 2016