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Buddhadharma : Spring 2018
70 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY The “right now” of our experience holds both realization and delu sion. From the perspective of nonduality, both must be included in our understanding. When we are responding with our buddhamind, where does the demon mind go? When we are responding with delu sion, where does our realized mind go? Or we could ask, “When we respond skillfully to a situation, where does our selfish mind go, and when we respond unskillfully, where does our compassionate mind go?” Both are present, although we generally experience either one or the other. HeeJin Kim writes, “The relationship between delusion and enlightenment is such that one is not the simple negation or absence of the other, nor does one precede or succeed the other.” If both were not present, we could not respond so readily with one or the other. One aspect comes forth and the other aspect is hidden, yet both are still part of the other’s appearance. The world of myriad things is all of being–time fully presencing itself. This world has no labels, although there is delusion and enlightenment. We should not say, “Oh, I’m enlightened, so everything I do is okay.” Nor should we say, “Oh, I’m so unskillful, I will never be compassionate or wise.” When we realize the nondual nature of a dharma position or particular being–time, we can include everything and avoid getting caught in a constricting story about our current situation. Making up a defining story line takes us further away from the true state of our experience. For example, we may find ourselves wanting to deny our own unskillfulness (the threeheaded demon) because it doesn’t fit our idea of a Buddhist practitioner. Denying our difficulties will only draw them forward, often when we least expect or want them to arise. It is only when we accept and investigate our experience as flawed human beings that we begin to exhibit wisdom and recognize the totality of our life.