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Buddhadharma : Summer 2018
74 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY ACHARYA GAYLON FERGUSON: “Non- material” as a preface to “realized being” makes it sound like human life doesn’t normally depend on nonmaterial aspects, but in fact it does, all the time and in ordinary ways. The love of a mother for her child is not material, but it shows up in how she nourishes the child, how she provides food for the child, and so forth. There, the unmanifest shows up in the many manifestations of care. So you begin with openness in the relationship with the teacher. There may be questions about that, but you also feel the immense compassion and kindness being offered. That’s a feeling we have. Faith is not entirely different from the feelings we have in the rest of our human relation- ships. It’s not something rarefied and exotic and so different from other things that go on all the time in our lives. This is intimate practice. ROB PREECE: I’m going to have to be a little bit Jungian here. One of the things I notice is that, for a lot of people who find themselves in this kind of terri- tory, there’s been some crisis of calling. Maybe there’s been a breaking down of ego-centeredness within a person’s life and they feel a yearning for some- thing that touches a deeper place. Often it’s uncomfortable and unnerving. It’s the “crack where the light gets in” kind of experience—a breaking. Something breaks down and we begin to open up. It’s in that process that we begin to open ourselves to connection with something that resonates very deeply, quite natu- rally, because we’re open to receiving it; we’re open to making the connection. Something in us yearns to make that connection. And it shifts from being “I’m just going to have faith in it” to a deep resonance of knowing. It may start with being given some explanation about certain practices, but if they start to touch us, it’s no longer just faith. It’s that we know something resonates because it’s luminous; it touches a place in us that we’ve been yearning for. LAMA TSULTRIM ALLIONE: There are many different ways to begin to open to the possibility of receiving blessings from nonmaterial realized beings. For me, this came when I first went to Nepal and sat in the temples and meditated while the monks were doing pujas. I was nineteen and from New Hampshire; I had no clue about Buddhism, so I just closed my eyes and opened my mind and heart. Practicing openness and attun- ement to different energies is the begin- ning. This could happen in nature, or at a temple or pilgrimage place, or in your own sitting practice. It can also take place in the presence of a great teacher, someone who becomes a kind of gateway to more subtle presences. opposite | Vajrayogini, 2007