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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 97 There’s a saying in Tibetan Buddhism that while we might start off with a personal teacher, at some point the entire phenomenal world becomes our guru. This adage expresses the idea that all internal and external phe- nomena can be a catalyst for awakening. But it’s also true that nature, in particular, is a great teacher. The natural world continually arises as a vivid and ephemeral display. By tuning in to it through our sense perceptions—by hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and feel- ing the natural world fully—we discover a connection with a deeper and more awake dimension of our being, one that is free from the usual overlay of our conceptual thoughts. As guru, the natural world reveals that being present with things as they are can be a transfor- mative experience. The Natural World Is a Powerful Teacher Lopon Elizabeth Monson photo | Daiwei Lu / Unsplash