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Buddhadharma : Summer 2018
90 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY happens in your life, just deal with it and let it go. Move forward. That is practicing wisdom of the emptiness of the conditioned. Next is the emptiness of the unconditioned. If you practice zazen, sooner or later you will taste something of the truth, which is called the uncon- ditioned. That is wonderful, but if you attach to your experiences, they give birth to self-centered thoughts. For example, during zazen you may think, “Oh, my thoughts have stopped now!” It is very easy for us to attach to the unconditioned world because it is mysterious; we are always curi- ous about mysteries. But grasping for it turns the unconditioned into the conditioned, so it becomes delusion. Whatever you see during zazen, even spiritual ecstasy or enlightenment, it’s just emptiness. But if you say “emptiness,” you have already created a concept, an element of the conditioned world. Whatever you say—wisdom, truth, or big self—if you try to grasp it as an idea, it becomes a mist. If you try to hold on to your experience of the unconditioned, you can become crazed by enlight- enment. So you have to let it go. Let it be. That is practicing wisdom of the unconditioned. Finally, there is the wisdom of ultimate empti- ness. It is wisdom that lets you see the deep core of your life, and simultaneously it guides you in your practice. It is hard to let wisdom guide your activ- ity—very hard! But this practice is the way you experience ultimate emptiness. photo | Eris Setiawan / Unsplash