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 : Summer 2017
62 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly summer 2 0 1 7 This is explained in the Samyutta Nikaya as follows: When there is this, that is. With the arising of this, that arises. When this is not, neither is that. With the cessation of this, that ceases. The fundamental part of this teaching can feel so true or obvious that it can seem mundane or feel irrelevant or unimportant. Yet in its succinctness, it invites us to explore how deeply interwoven and interdependent our lives are. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his 1964 address to the Method- ist Student Leadership Conference, also captured the spirit of this ancient knowledge: In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. It is this interrelated structure of our reality that we are invited to live each and every day when we enter the different groups in our lives. The differ- ent and varied communities within which we walk are defined and described by culture—the dynamic, ever-changing way in which a group of people lives together, including their conscious and unconscious behaviors, attitudes, norms, values, institutions, and symbols. Culture is communicated verbally and nonverbally, transmitted from generation to genera- tion, and constantly created, collected, and trans- formed in the process. It necessarily influences our spiritual practice, both explicitly and subtly. Our norms, beliefs, and values influence our mytholo- gies, rituals, and imagery. How we worship and have faith, in turn, is one of the common threads from which our culture is woven. The organizations and institutions that comprise our dharma communities are themselves cultural expressions. However, there is a common view that when our spiritual practice grows sufficiently deep, our awareness and spiritual development will transcend the influence of culture. I have seen this idea expressed specifically in regard to practice of the Buddha’s teachings and even in the context of secular mindfulness and meditation practice. Some may disagree, but I believe that if dharma practice is meant to be comprehensive—leaving nothing in life outside of its scope—then culture is not to be tran- scended or left behind. Cultural influence is there from the moment we are born until we pass away, from the time when we learn to when we teach oth- ers, in all the mundane and sublime elements of our lives; it is something to be integrated into the very fabric of our spiritual practice, including the diverse facets of our behavior and identities. The way in which the teachings of the Buddha and Buddhism have come to the West is no differ- ent: our experience of dharma is influenced by both our own culture and the cultures from which we have received it. Western cultural norms and incli- nations have already influenced our collective expe- rience of the teachings. Even though those of us in Insight Meditation circles acknowledge that sangha is a practice of being in community, we tend not to place as much emphasis on this aspect as do practi- tioners from traditionally Buddhist countries. The dominant culture in the United States can be quite focused on the individual; our culture values icons of rugged individualism, the socio-literary narrative of raising oneself by one’s own bootstraps, and the psychological ideal of healthy individuation in the process of human behavioral development. Such sentiments do not leave much room for cultivating a larger experience of community. The Buddha did not just pay lip service to the collective aspect of our spiritual journey. He was inviting us to explore, as deeply as meditation itself, what it means to awaken together in community. ➤ continued on page 83