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F R O M T H E P U B L I S H E R

Daniel Aitken

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elcome to the second issue of the Wisdom Journal. Time goes so fast— it seems like we only just released the inaugural issue! I want to thank you all for your tremendous support of the Wisdom Journal. We received requests from thousands of readers who heard about the first issue and wanted to subscribe to the Wisdom Journal and join the Wisdom community.

and literary heritage (page 12). The series will ultimately include thirty-two large volumes with over 200 distinct texts selected in consultation with the preeminent lineage holders and senior scholars of all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

This issue includes some great articles from forthcoming books and from some of our classics. In an excerpt from his new book, Interconnected, H. H. the Karmapa explores how we’re profoundly shaped by the communities in which we participate (page 13). We also have some excellent advice from Lama Yeshe on learning from the lives of the mahasiddhas (page 30). Our regular feature, “In the Buddha’s Words,” includes a selection from The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony with the Buddha’s advice to Rāhula (page 31). Of course, we can’t fit everything we would like to share with you in the printed Journal, so be sure to read the full articles available at www.wisdompubs.org/WJfall16.

Finally, this month marks the one-year anniversary of the Wisdom Podcast. We’ve had some amazing guests and fascinating conversations. See page 6 for an excerpt from our interview with Prof. Robert Thurman and visit learn.wisdompubs.org/podcast to hear episodes featuring H. E. Ling Rinpoche, Bhikkhu Anālayo, Prof. Jay Garfield, and others. If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe, rate us, and leave a comment suggesting guests on iTunes or your favorite podcasting platform.

Also in this issue, you’ll find a piece on our series, The Library of Tibetan Classics, supporting the efforts of Thupten Jinpa and his team of translators to preserve, revitalize, and disseminate the knowledge and insights of classical Tibetan thought, culture,

P. S. Don’t forget to download your free ebook on compassion from Lama Zopa Rinpoche (page 23).

These selected works, which represent more than a millennium of literary heritage, cover fields as diverse as meditation, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, and history.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the Wisdom Journal ! Happy reading, Daniel Aitken

Cover photo by Michael Pitt

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C O N T E N T S 4 T H E D A L A I O N L O V E

L A M A

An excerpt from Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions.

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B U D D H A O N H A R M O N Y

Bhikkhu Bodhi 1 6 M Y T H , C U L T U R E , A N D C O N T I N U I T Y Daniel Hirschberg

6 A N I N T E R V I E W W I T H R O B E R T T H U R M A N The Buddhist scholar shares how he was first introduced to Buddhism and the one piece of advice he would give to everyone who practices mindfulness.

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M I N D F U L N E S S : Z E N P E R S P E C T I V E

1 8 T H E B U R D E N O F M I S T A K E N B E L I E F S Kathleen Dowling Singh 2 0 I N

T H E B U D D H A E A C H R E A L M

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S O O N

2 4 T H E H A R M O N Y O F D I F F E R E N C E A N D S A M E N E S S An exploration of Vasubandhu’s classic work by Ben Connelly.

The basis of the Great Perfection tradition, translated by Malcolm Smith.

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2 6 R E F L E C T I O N S O N M E M O R Y A N D T I M E

S E V E N - P O I N T M I N D T R A I N I N G

An excerpt from the novel Maya by C. W. Huntington, Jr.

Learn practical methods for training in compassion in our everyday lives with this pithy teaching from the lojong tradition.

2 7 F A I T H A N D C O N F I D E N C E

The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

The Wisdom Journal’s regular feature of teachings from the Pāli Canon, expertly translated by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi.

A look at what Wisdom has planned for 2017.

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T H E V A L U E C O M M U N I T Y

I N T H E B U D D H A ’ S W O R D S

David Nichtern

Robert Rosenbaum and Barry Magid

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Ayya Khema 2 8 T H E F I R S T P A N C H E N , L O S A N G C H O K Y I G Y E L T S E N

3 0 L E A R N I N G F R O M T H E L I V E S O F M A H A S I D D H A S Lama Yeshe 3 2 O N B E C O M I N G A M O N K Bhante Gunaratana 3 3 W I S D O M F A V O R I T E S Our favorite books from the Tibetan, Theravada, and Zen traditions, as well as perennial bestsellers and new releases.

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WIT H C OU P ON C OD E WP C C 1 1

Jan Willis

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The Dalai Lama on Love

A N E X F R O M O N E T M A N Y

C B E T

E R P T U D D H I S M : A C H E R , R A D I T I O N S

Photo by Nels Akerlund

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ince hostility is the opposite of love and prevents its development, we begin by reflecting on the disadvantages of hostility and the benefits of fortitude. Hostility crushes trust and tears apart valued relationships; it destroys our merit and compels us to act in ways we later regret. Fortitude, or patience, is like a soothing balm. It attracts others to us and protects our virtue.

At the beginning, it is important to cultivate love toward specific people in a definite order. Do not begin the cultivation of any of the four immeasurables toward someone to whom you are or could be sexually attracted. The people should be alive because we don’t know what form the deceased are in now. When cultivating love, begin by using yourself as an example. Contemplate repeatedly, “May I be happy and free from suffering. May I be free from hostility, affliction, and anxiety and live happily.” Generating love toward ourselves isn’t selfish because the goal is to generate love toward all beings, which includes ourselves. We, too, are worthy of love and kindness. This meditation counteracts self-hatred, freeing us to develop our potential. Then contemplate, “Just as I want to be happy, so too do other beings.” Cultivate love for someone you respect and hold in high regard, such as your spiritual mentor or another teacher. If we begin by cultivating love for a dear one, attachment may easily arise under the guise of love; however, this will not happen toward someone you respect. Recalling the help you have received from this person, contemplate, “May he be happy and free from suffering. May he be free from hostility, affliction, and anxiety and live happily.” Then extend your love more broadly, first to a dear friend, thinking in the same way as above. When the mind is malleable, generate love for a neutral person, seeing her as a very dear friend. When you can do this, cultivate love for an enemy, seeing her as neutral. “Enemy” means someone you are hostile or critical toward. The person does not have to be one who reciprocates those disturbing emotions. This step can be difficult because anger or the wish for revenge may arise toward those who have harmed you. If you cannot get past these disturbing emotions, return to meditating on love toward one of the previous persons, and when the mind is drenched in that feeling, again generate love for the enemy. If hostility persists, apply an antidote… If one doesn’t release the anger, try another. Begin by remembering the disadvantages of hostility. The Buddha details seven disadvantages of anger (AN 7:64): While an enemy may wish us to be ugly, experience pain, lack prosperity, wealth, a good reputation, harmonious relationships, and have an unfortunate rebirth,

we bring all these upon ourselves through our own anger. Letting our mind dwell in animosity destroys our virtue and inhibits our spiritual progress. Hearing others’ disturbing speech often triggers anger in the mind. Here the Buddha counsels us (MN 21:11): …you should train thus: “Our minds will remain unaffected, and we shall utter no evil words; we shall abide compassionate for their welfare, with a mind of love, without inner hate. We shall abide pervading that person with a mind imbued with love, and starting with him, we shall abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with love, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without malice.” This is love in the state of jhāna (Vism 9:44). Such love will carry over when we leave the jhāna state and return to an everyday state of mind. Even if we have not attained jhāna, training our mind to approach all beings with a loving attitude will overwhelm our discomfort, suspicion, and malice and imbue us with ease and affection for all. Reflecting on the person’s good qualities when he is in a congenial situation enables us to dispel our critical attitude. We can then recall this when he creates trouble. If it is difficult to see any good qualities in the person, generate compassion for him, thinking of the destructive kamma he is creating and the suffering he will experience as a result. There is no use wishing harm to someone who is bringing harm upon himself. It is better to generate compassion for him. Thinking of the Buddha’s responses to aggression in his previous lives as a bodhisatta can inspire us to forgive others for their faults. The Jātaka collection tells many stories of the bodhisatta’s previous lives in which he responded to aggressors with compassion. Reflecting that all sentient beings have been our mother, father, siblings, and children, we see that they have all benefited us in the past and that it is therefore unfitting to harbor enmity for them. Our affection and gratitude for others then overpowers any resentment.

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continue reading at wisdompubs.org/WJFall16 BUDDHISM The Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron Don't forget to save 20% with code WPCC11.

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A LIFE IN BUDDHISM A N I N T E R V I E W W I T H R O B E R T T H U R M A N

See page 29 for information on Robert Thurman's online course with Wisdom Academy.

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n a recent episode of the Wisdom Podcast, publisher Daniel Aitken interviewed Robert A. F. Thurman, the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and President of the Tibet House U.S. In the condensed conversation below, he shares his story of discovering Buddhism and some thoughts about meditation and mindfulness with the Wisdom community. Daniel Aitken: In 1962, you went on a search to Asia. I’m interested in what you were looking for and what you found. Robert Thurman: I had dropped out of my senior year at Harvard undergraduate and I was looking for better courses in philosophy and psychology, and I had the sense that India had those better courses. There I met the Tibetans and the minute I met them, something happened. I was going to stay. When I was back for [my father’s] funeral I met Geshe Wangyal in New Jersey, by accident.

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I really was introduced to Buddhism by Geshe Wangyal. It was just wonderful. But he and I had a disagreement slightly, in that I wanted to be a monk and he didn’t want to make me a monk. Toward the end of ‘64 he took me back to India, ostensibly to introduce me to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who he was working for directly. Then he left me with the Dalai Lama and the Dalai Lama took me under his wing and made me wait eight months to be a monk, because Geshe Wangyal had warned him not to make me a monk. Neither the young Dalai Lama nor the young me listened ultimately, and he and Ling Rinpoche ordained me. I did my best to be a monk. I was memorizing books, I was going to geshe studies. Here Geshe Wangyal was a little mischievous—he came in the middle of one late-night memorization session where I was memorizing the Pramanavartika and he said, “What are you doing?” I said, “Well, I’m memorizing the Pramanavartika.” He said, “Well, why are you doing that?” I said, “I want to pass my geshe exam, so I need to memorize these po ti na.”

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He looked at me and he said, “Do you know anybody who wants a white geshe?” DA: Wow. RT: He said that to me, his exact words. And then I said, “Well, what do you mean? I want one.” That aided me a little bit, that “Who wants one?” I was not sophisticated enough or experienced enough to really know what he meant. He wanted me to have a life and have a livelihood. That’s why he advised me against being a monk. I could be more independent as a professor, you know. In a way you don’t teach students to be Dharma practitioners, but you teach them the philosophy and then they can decide themselves what they do… So that’s the path I took, a sort of middle way of being a professor.

and that way can develop a big Dharma center, or a cult, or a group. The Rubicon that American Buddhists have to cross, I think, is the idea that although they learned a lot of stuff from Western knowledge systems, it was not the stuff that helped them become more complete beings. And Western spiritual systems also maybe didn’t give them the learning and the meditative ability to experience the stuff that they are supposed to believe in. So, this is where Buddhism can offer a great service to them if it’s properly taught. DA: So what about mindfulness, being present and nonjudgmental? People are getting a lot of benefit out of that.

RT: To be nonjudgmental [in meditation practice] at first, just to see that they might have some negative thoughts DA: So your journey from Buddhist monk to Buddhist professor was more about your way of integrating into the and let them become aware of them, is good. But then long-term, if they just stay with that, then they get stuntWest, rather than you thinking that that was a better way ed at that level. Instead of bringing Buddhism to the there’s a stage where they West? should go into editing RT: Yes, that’s true. It was those thoughts the way just to integrate my own that Buddhist mindfulness life so I could continue my teaches, and start critiquing study, because I just felt and unconditioning or dethere was no support for a conditioning the negative monk. thought patterns, reinforcing the positive thought DA: We have a very broad patterns and actually set of listeners. Do you want reshaping their motivations to tell as a little bit about and thoughts in a more the different types of sophisticated way. Eventumeditation? ally they should move on RT: Every kind of Buddhism Photo of Robert Thurman and the Dalai Lama by Christophe de Menil to that. has their idea of three levels DA: There are probably people listening who are doing of wisdom—wisdom born of learning, wisdom born of critical reflection, which is a kind of meditation, and then mindfulness practice. What would be the next step for them? What advice would you give them? wisdom born of concentrated meditation, bhavana. So there’s wisdom born of realization, which is where shaRT: Learning. The next step for all the Buddhists I think matha and vipashyana are interconnected. Why? Because is learning more. My next step all the time is learning if you meditate a lot, before you have some learning, more. And if anybody is setting a more important examespecially about emptiness and selflessness, then you’re ple for us, it’s one of the great Buddhist masters of our era, likely to get into a state, because the mind is so powerful, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who’s always learning more. where you will feel comfortable with your self-centeredIf someone asks me in one word or one phrase, “What is ness intact and it’ll be a kind of escapist state—a quietist Buddhism?” I say Buddhism is engaged realism—that’s type of escapist state. And then your growth as an overall what it is, period. person pursuing or evolving toward enlightenment will be stunted. It’s sort of like getting addicted to a tranquilizer. It goes against the grain of Dharma centers in the West, because they’re dealing with Western people who have been over-educated in negative forms of education, high conceptuality in a way. When they do any kind of Listen to the full interview and others with meditation where they sort of suspend their thinking guests Bhikkhu Bodhi, Dan Harris, and more process they feel more comfortable. So that’s a good sell at wisdompubs.org/podcast.

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MINDFULNESS: A ZEN PERSPECTIVE A N W I T H B Y

E X C E R P T F R O M W H A T ’ S W R O N G M I N D F U L N E S S ( A N D W H A T I S N ’ T )

R O B E R T

M E I K Y O

R O S E N B A U M

A N D

B A R R Y

M A G I D

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alf a century ago, Zen was the magic elixir that would mately, refreshing: rather than pretending to be some precious, save all of us in the West from ourselves. Beat poetry, idealized practice, Zen in the West had to become real. the inner game of tennis, and the art of motorcycle Being real means engaging with all the bits and pieces of maintenance—even the nostrums of business management everyday life. But what should that look like? A series of woodmanuals all claimed to bear Zen’s imprimatur. Zen, with its block prints famous in the Zen tradition—the Ox-Herding spare aesthetic and paradoxical stories, seemed to offer an Pictures—depicts the various stages of a spiritual journey. The antidote to the stresses of conformity and the false promises of tenth and final picture depicts the culmination of practice as commercialism. As a bonus, it apparently provided a tried and “returning to the marketplace with bliss-bestowing hands.” The true pathway to enlightenment for the spiritual seeker. marketplace represents the hubbub of daily life with its jostle With time we learned that Zen is—as it likes to proclaim— and noise, its glitter and its dust; this tenth Ox-Herding picnothing special. Its practitioners are not exempted from ordi- ture offers a vision of how a mature practitioner, forged by the nary human frailties. Throughout its history in Asia, Zen, far rigors of the long quest, is able to return to everyday affairs and from being the rarefied panacea we had imagined, suffered its be “in the world but not of it.” Appearing as deeply ordinary, disappointments and its scandals, its organizational struggles, still she lives a life that supports the liberation of all beings. personal rivalries, and internecine doctrinal conflicts. Zen in In Zen we like to say “the lotus blooms in the mud… and the America and Europe also turned out to not be immune from mud is pretty interesting, too.” Since its arrival in the West, muddles and missteps. This was disillusioning but also, ulti- Zen has had its share of mud: teachers who did not live up to

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the ethical standards expected of them; difficulties supporting some practice centers while other groups thrived using commercial business models; arguments about how to stay true to tradition while also fostering the emergence of new forms of practice. In spite of and sometimes even because of these difficulties, Zen in the West has provided a deeply satisfying spiritual path for many, and the liberation it offers not only survived its journey to the West but has arguably been reinvigorated as its devoted practitioners struggled to make sense of it in its new time and place.

from Asian Buddhism and adapt them to our Western context while remaining true to the healthy roots on which they rely. For instance, all of us are engaged in teaching laypeople who may never see the inside of a monastery and who certainly will not live lives adhering to the strict list of precepts that govern Buddhist monastics. Although mindfulness is most intimately associated with the Theravada or Vipassana traditions, mindfulness also plays an important role in Zen (though often in subtly different forms). We hope by sharing our perspectives we may be able to contribute some insight to the issues our friends in the mindfulness movement face.

Now it is mindB E I N G R E A L M E A N S fulness’s turn to Zen in America has itself been subject E N G A G I N G W I T H A L L be appropriatto three powerfully destabilizing trends: ed by Western T H E B I T S A N D P I E C E S O F secularization (taking practice out of its culture as the monastic context E V E R Y D A Y L I F E . B U T philosopher’s stone. Some- W H A T S H O U L D T H A T L O O K L I K E ? with its associattimes idealized as a cure-all ed religious ritand sometimes vilified as a New Age pablum, it has spread uals), instrumentalization (for example, using meditation as into society at large and, like Zen, expanded beyond its orig- a “technique” for realizing personal self-transformation), and inal training venues, religious practices, and cultural contexts. deracination (extracting Buddhist practices from their cultural “Mindfulness” is becoming a generic term whose meaning be- and historical roots). All of the authors in this book are concomes less clear in direct proportion to the hype it generates. It cerned, though, that the mindfulness movement sometimes can be found everywhere; corporate retreats, medical centers, carries these trends to extremes. Removed from its rich—and sports facilities, and even the military have adopted it as a way rigorously ascetic—Theravadin Buddhist context, mindfulto decrease stress and improve performance. ness has been imported to the West as a fully secularized techMindfulness has indeed entered the marketplace in the West, nique that can be learned and practiced over the course of a but it is questionable whether its hands are always bliss bestow- few weeks or even within the confines of a weekend workshop. ing; there is even a danger of them becoming as grasping as all This consumeroriented, quick-fix approach to meditation, the other hands to be found there. This is not because mind- which has come to be dubbed “McMindfulness,” has raised fulness’s proponents are greedily chasing after money—though serious questions in our minds about the trends of which we sadly that seems to be a not-infrequent phenomenon—but are a part. because the movement seems preoccupied with results. This goal-oriented grasping has streamlined and mass-marketed what Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a generation ago, so aptly called “spiritual materialism.”

Traditionally Buddhist teachings were conveyed face to face and mind to mind, requiring a close relationship between student and teacher, along with the intimacy that arises when people live together, in the day-to-day activities of a commuThe Heart Sutra, a text at the very core of Mahayana Buddhist nity. A poem frequently recited in Zen Buddhist temples starts teaching, proclaims there is “no path, no wisdom, and no gain.” off “The mind of the great sage of India is conveyed intimately “No gain” is the very antithesis of spiritual materialism; it rejects from west to east.” According to tradition, Zen began when any means-to-an-end conceptualization or use of meditation. Buddha taught an assembly of followers by simply holding up Preserving the centrality of “no gain” is how Zen can poten- a flower; his disciple Mahakashyapa smiled, and Buddha detially maintain its integrity in the midst of a marketplace-based clared the transmission was complete. This intimacy was and, society. To the extent that it has been able to do so, Zen, for we feel, continues to be crucial—and in stark contrast to some all its stumbles and excesses, is uniquely positioned to serve as of the ways mindfulness is taught today, when it is presented an exemplar to the mindfulness movement as it makes its own didactically in classrooms or as sound bites in seminars. attempt to bring a Buddhist practice to the world without the world in turn contaminating the heart of Buddhist practice. continue reading at The Zen teachers assembled [in What’s Wrong with Mindfulness (And What Isn’t)], representing many different lineages and styles of teaching, have all been deeply schooled in the attitude of “no gain.” We also have practical experience wrestling with the knotty issue of how to take practices derived

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wisdompubs.org/WJFall16 WHAT’S WRONG WITH MINDFULNESS Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum and Barry Magid Don't forget to save 20% with code WPCC11.

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Seven-Point Mind Training An Excerpt from Mind Training, Volume 1 in The Library of Tibetan Classics

From the Introduction by Thupten Jinpa central theme of mind training practice is the profound reorientation of our basic attitude both toward our own self and toward fellow sentient beings, as well as toward the events around us. Presently, we tend not only to grasp at some kind of intrinsically real “self ” that constitutes our true being but also to cherish the welfare of this true “me” at the expense of all others. The mind training teaching challenges us to reverse this process. The training involves a deep understanding of others as true friends—as “more precious than a wishfulfilling jewel,” as Langri Thangpa puts it in his Eight Verses on Mind Training—and the recognition that our true enemy lies inside ourselves, not outside.

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Seven-Point Mind Training By Chekawa Yeshé Dorjé (1101–75) I. Presentation of the preliminaries, the basis First, train in the preliminaries. II. Training in the awakening mind, the main practice A. Training in ultimate awakening mind Train to view all phenomena as dreamlike.

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Examine the nature of the unborn awareness. The remedy, too, is freed in its own place. Place your mind on the basis-of-all, the actual path. In the intervals be a conjurer of illusions. B. Training in conventional awakening mind Train in the two—giving and taking—alternately. Place the two astride your breath. There are three objects, three poisons, and three roots of virtue. In all actions, train by means of the words. III. Taking adverse conditions onto the path of enlightenment When the world and its inhabitants boil with negativity, Transform adverse conditions into the path of enlightenment. Banish all blames to the single source. Toward all beings contemplate their great kindness. With the three views and treasury of space, The yoga of protection is unexcelled. By meditating on illusions as the four buddha bodies,

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Do not maintain inappropriate loyalty. Do not torment with malicious banter. Do not lie in ambush. Do not strike at the heart. Do not place the load of a dzo onto an ox. Do not sprint to win a race. Do not abuse this [practice] as a rite. Do not turn the gods into demons. Do not seek misery as a means to happiness. VII. Presentation of the precepts of mind training Accomplish all yogas through a single means. Overcome all errors through a single means. There are two tasks—one at the start and one at the end. Forbear whichever of the two arises. Guard the two even at the cost of your life. Train in the three difficult challenges. Adopt the three principal conditions. Contemplate the three that are free of degeneration. Be endowed with the three inseparable factors. Train constantly toward the chosen objects. Do not depend on other conditions. Engage in the principal practices right now.

Emptiness is protection unsurpassed. The fourfold practice is the most excellent method. Relate whatever you can to meditation right now. IV. Presentation of a lifetime’s practice in summary In brief the essence of instruction is this: Apply yourself to the five powers. As Mahayana’s transference method is The five powers alone, their practice is vital. V. Presentation of the measure of having trained the mind The intent of all teachings converges on a single point. Of the two witnesses uphold the principal one. Cultivate constantly the joyful mind alone. If this can be done even when distracted, you are trained. VI. Presentation of the commitments of mind training Train constantly in the three general points. Transform your attitudes but remain as you are. Do not speak of the defects [of others]. Do not reflect on others’ shortcomings. Discard all expectations of reward. Discard poisonous food.

Do not apply misplaced understanding. Do not be sporadic. Train with decisiveness. Be released through the two: investigation and close analysis. Do not boast of your good deeds. Do not be ill-tempered. Do not be fickle. Do not be boisterous. Through this proliferation of the five degenerations Transform [every event] into the path of enlightenment. Because of my numerous aspirations, I have defied the tragic tale of suffering And have taken instructions to subdue self-grasping. Now, even if death comes, I have no regrets.

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continue reading at wisdompubs.org/WJFall16 MIND TRAINING Translated by Thupten Jinpa Don't forget to save 20% with code WPCC11.

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The Library of Tibetan Classics

A thirty-two volume series covering the entire expanse of Tibet’s classical literary heritage “When completed, The Library of Tibetan Classics will represent a comprehensive reference library of the most important Tibetan classics embracing the entire spectrum of Tibetan thought and artistic traditions. Such a series will make Tibet’s classical thought truly a world heritage, an intellectual and spiritual resource open to all.” —His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

The Library of Tibetan Classics is a special series being developed by the Institute of Tibetan Classics, in association with Wisdom Publications, to make key classical Tibetan texts part of the global literary and intellectual heritage. Spanning nearly a millennium and a half, the series covers the vast expanse of classical Tibetan knowledge—from the core teachings of the specific Tibetan Buddhist schools to such diverse fields as ethics, philosophy, logic, psychology, spiritual practices, civic and social responsibilities, linguistics, poetry, art, medicine, astronomy and astrology, folklore, and historiography. The series, comprising thirtytwo large volumes, will contain a careful selection of over two hundred distinct texts by more than a hundred of Tibet’s best-known authors. Since one of the primary objectives of the series is to create a body of texts that Tibetans themselves recognize as the best of their heritage, the texts, especially core teachings of individual schools, have been selected in close consultation with the preeminent lineage holders and with senior Tibetan scholars, especially His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Library of Tibetan Classics will make available a manageable yet comprehensive reference library, covering the entire gamut of classical Tibetan knowledge, to libraries, educational and cultural institutions, and interested individuals worldwide. Thupten Jinpa General Editor, The Library of Tibetan Classics President, Institute of Tibetan Classics

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It has been an honor to serve as Wisdom’s editor for The Library of Tibetan Classics series since the publication of the premiere volume, Ornament of Stainless Light, over twelve years ago. The nine volumes published so far in the series have become an extraordinary resource for the study of Tibetan culture and especially Tibetan Buddhism. There are several gems in these volumes: translations of important core texts by Tsongkhapa, Gampopa, Sakya Pandita, and Atisha; an eighteenth-century encyclopedia of religion; and classic, profound writings on the Kālacakra and Guhyasamāja tantras. That these texts are now available in English—and translated by some of the most accomplished scholars in the field—is a boon to practitioners and academics alike. I hope you will enjoy reading these books as much as I have. Yours in the Dharma, David Kittelstrom Senior Editor, Wisdom Publications

You can be a Benefactor of this important series! Did you know if you make a gift of $2,000 or more to become a Benefactor of the Library’s flourishing, you will have your name listed in each future volume? You will also receive a gift copy of each future volume, and can buy past ones at 50% off. Gifts of any amount are greatly appreciated. Please email advancement@wisdompubs.org to inquire about making a gift; call 617-776-7416 x25; or simply mail your check to: LOTC Fund, Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm St., Somerville, MA 02144, USA.

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THE VALUE OF COMMUNITY An Excerpt from Interconnected

Photo by © Olivier Adam | olivieradam.net

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uman beings are profoundly shaped by the communities in which we participate. Before we join any particular community, however, we are already part of the human community. Each of us is far more deeply marked by being human than we are by our membership in any other community—even as formative and intimate a community as our own family. Likewise, the basic responsibility we have as human beings holds priority over any claims made on us by any smaller or more local community.

great devotion to the basic values taught in Buddhism. Everything in our surroundings was Buddhist, and my parents’ faith was unswerving. On top of that I was recognized as the Karmapa as a young boy and have been fully immersed in Buddhist culture and traditions since then. Who would dare argue that the Karmapa is not Buddhist? If asked whether I am Buddhist, I do not even get a split second to consider my reply, since there is only one answer. You can hardly get more Buddhist than the Karmapa! But before we worry about how we are doing in terms of our religious, ethnic, or other Before anything else, I feel we local identities, I think B U T I F I A M N O T A G O O D should identify ourselves we need to ask ourselves first as human beings. H U M A N B E I N G , W H A T A M I how we are doing as human Many of the unhealthiest D O I N G A S A B U D D H I S T ? beings. dynamics in society arise because we fail to honor the primacy of our membership in the For me the answer is not so automatic. I ask myself somecommunity of humanity. When identifying with partictimes how I am doing as a human being—whether I am a ular communities—family, religious, ethnic, national, or good human being—and sometimes I think I am not too otherwise—we need to guard against even subtle conbad, sometimes I feel I am falling very short of the mark. I tempt, resentment, or aversion for those outside that com- am not nearly so sure that I am fulfilling my responsibilities munity. At the same time, whatever values or qualities we as a member of the human community well. But if I am cultivate in the context of our more limited communities, not a good human being, what am I doing as a Buddhist? we must ensure that this is done in the service of shared Pre-order Interconnected today at human values. wisdompubs.org/interconnected. Our particular identities need to be compatible with our human identity. This does not mean we all have to be the same. It means that each particular community should be continue reading at wisdompubs.org/WJFall16 oriented toward making a contribution to the whole and INTERCONNECTED should not detract from or demean other communities. In my own case, I have been part of a Buddhist community my whole life. I was born to a close-knit Buddhist family. My parents had little education in Buddhist doctrine but

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THE BUDDHA ON SOCIAL HARMONY An Excerpt from The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony

hile the human heart has always stirred with the yearning for peace, harmony, and loving fellowship, the means of satisfying this yearning have ever proved elusive. In international relations, wars succeed one another like scenes in a film, with only brief pauses during which the hostile powers set about forging new alliances and making surreptitious grabs for territory. Social systems are constantly torn by class struggles, in which the elite class seeks to amass more privileges and the subordinate class to achieve greater rights and more security. Whether it is the conflict between masters and slaves, between feudal lords and serfs, between the aristocrats and the common people, between capital and labor, it seems that only the faces change while the underlying dynamics of the power struggle remain the same. Communities as well are constantly threatened by internal strife. Rival bids for power, differences of opinion, and competing interests among their members can tear them apart, giving birth to new cycles of enmity. When each new war, division, or dispute has peaked, the hope rises that reconciliation will follow, that peace and unity will eventually prevail. Yet, again and again, these hopes are quickly disappointed. A moving passage in the scriptures of Early Buddhism testifies to this disparity between our aspirations for peace and the stark reality of perpetual conflict. On one occasion, it is said, Sakka, the ruler of the gods, visited the Buddha and asked the anguished question, “Why is it that when people wish to live in peace, without hatred or enmity, they are everywhere embroiled in hatred and enmity?” (see Text VIII,1). The same question rings down the ages, and it could be asked with equal urgency about many troublespots in today’s world: Iraq and Syria, the Gaza Strip, the Central African Republic and South Sudan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, Charleston and Baltimore. This problem must also have weighed on the Buddha’s heart as he traveled the Ganges plain on his teaching tours. The society of his time was divided into separate castes distinguished by the prerogatives of the elite and the servile status of those

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at the bottom. Those outside the caste system, the outcasts, were treated even worse, subjected to the most degrading indignities. The political landscape, too, was changing, as monarchies led by ambitious kings rose from the ashes of the older tribal states and embarked on military campaigns intended to expand their domains. Within the courts personal rivalries among those hungry for power were bitter. Even the spiritual communities of the time were not immune to conflict. Philosophers and ascetics proud of their theories sparred with each other in passionate debates, each seeking to defeat their rivals and swell the ranks of their followers. In a deeply moving poem in the Suttanipāta (vv. 935–37) the Buddha gives voice to the feeling of vertigo such violence had produced in him, perhaps soon after he left Kapilavatthu and witnessed firsthand the world outside his native land: Fear has arisen from one who has taken up violence: behold the people engaged in strife. I will tell you of my sense of urgency, how I was stirred by a sense of urgency. Having seen people trembling like fish in a brook with little water, when I saw them hostile to one another, fear came upon me. The world was insubstantial all around; all the directions were in turmoil. Desiring an abode for myself, I did not see any place unoccupied. Once he began teaching, the Buddha’s primary mission was to make known the path that culminates in inner peace, in the supreme security of nibbāna, release from the cycle of birth, old age, and death. But the Buddha did not turn his back on the human condition in favor of a purely ascetic, introspective quest for liberation. From his position as a

renunciant who stood outside the conventional social order, he looked with deep concern on struggling humanity, enmeshed in conflict while aspiring for peace, and out of compassion he sought to bring harmony into the troubled arena of human relations, to promote a way of life based on tolerance, concord, and kindness. But he did even more. He founded an intentional community devoted to fostering inner and outer peace. This task was thrust upon him almost from the start; for the Buddha was not a solitary wanderer, teaching those who came to him for guidance and then leaving them to their own devices. He was the founder of a new spiritual movement that from the outset was inevitably communal. Immediately after he concluded his first sermon, the five ascetics who heard it asked to become his disciples. As time went on, his teaching attracted increasing numbers of men and women who chose to follow him into the life of homelessness and take on the full burden of his training. Thus a Sangha—a community of monks and nuns who lived in groups, traveled in groups, and trained in groups—gradually developed around him. Changing from their lay garments into ocher robes, however, was not an immediate passport to holiness. While their way of life had altered, the monks and nuns who entered the Buddha’s order still brought along with them the ingrained human tendencies toward anger, pride, ambition, envy, self- righteousness, and opinionatedness. It was thus inevitable that tensions within the monastic community would arise, develop at times into outright antagonism, and spawn factionalism, strife, and even bitter conflict. For the Sangha to flourish, the Buddha had indeed to become an “organization man.” While he could proclaim high spiritual ideals toward which his disciples could strive, this was not sufficient to ensure harmony in the Sangha. He also had to establish a detailed code of regulations for the

uniform performance of communal functions and to promulgate rules that would restrain if not totally obliterate divisive tendencies. These became the Vinaya, the body of monastic discipline. The Buddha also taught and guided people who chose to follow his teachings at home, as lay disciples, living in the midst of their families and working at their regular occupations. He was thus faced with the additional task of laying down guidelines for society as a whole. In addition to a basic code of lay precepts, he had to offer principles to ensure that parents and children, husbands and wives, employers and employees, and people from very different backgrounds and social classes would be able to live together amicably. In the face of these challenges the scope of the Dhamma expanded. From its original character as a path to spiritual liberation, centered around contemplative practices and philosophical insights, it gave rise to a broad ethic that applied not only to individual conduct but to the relations between people living under diverse conditions, whether in monasteries or at home, whether pursuing their livelihoods in the marketplace or workshop or in the service of the state. Under all these circumstances, the chief ethical requirement was the avoidance of harm: harm through aggression, harm by trampling on the claims of others, harm through conflict and violence. The ideal was to promote goodwill and harmony in action, speech, and thought.

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continue reading at wisdompubs.org/WJFall16 THE BUDDHA’S TEACHINGS ON SOCIAL AND COMMUNAL HARMONY Bhikkhu Bodhi

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sambhava narrative will emerge in every era, since it must be revised under the circumstances of each new present. This occurred not long after Nyangrel’s time in a political context destabilized by foreign interventions as much as domestic conflicts. Two Testaments of Padmasambhava were discovered in quick succession in the fourteenth century: Sangyé Lingpa’s Golden Garland, in prose, and Urgyen Lingpa’s Crystal Cave, in verse. Due to the terminological truncations and grammatical omissions of Tibetan poetry, even contemporary Tibetans admit that some stanzas of Urgyen Lingpa’s Testament of Padmasambhava remain opaque, yet it remains the most famous version of Tibet’s golden age, and arguably the most popular narrative Tibet ever produced. While hand-scribed manuscripts and block-printed publications of the Padmasambhava story are fixed in ink, the actual text of Padmasambhava is never static: it constantly evolves as it is remembered and retold, incorporating countless details from previous versions while adding new content before it is committed to the page once again. Comparative analysis projects a sequence that portrays the mouvance of its recensional process, noting differences incorporated in the textual scene from one frame to the next, but philology alone can neither record nor reveal the full expression of the living tradition that produces each text. Image of Padmasambhava, courtesy of the Rubin Museum of Art

MYTH, CULTURE, AND CONTINUITY AN EXCERPT FROM REMEMBERING THE LOTUS-BORN

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s Matthew Kapstein has written in relation to some of the same topics, “a myth is felt to be true whenever it functions in the discourse of a community to ground action that is itself felt to bring about the success of that community, or of its individual members.” In that, Nyangrel’s account of Padmasambhava is a masterpiece that continues to resonate eight centuries later. The story of Padmasambhava and his conversion of Tibet persists as a wellspring of Tibetan identity: as first articulated by Nyangrel this is their origin narrative, their history that unites them as a collective, a single people by virtue of a shared past that sets Tibetans apart from all others. Its constant relevance throughout these many centuries has been aided by a process of reinterpretation and revision that has been nearly as constant: the story of Padmasambhava has been told and retold, refashioned and re-revealed by a succession of visionaries. It is said that a new Padma-

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For Nyangrel the established “texts,” whether material or oral, offered only fragments of Padmasambhava. While some apotheosized Padmasambhava as an enlightened master, the inscriptions ignored him and the Testimony of Ba expelled him. Thus Nyangrel compiled a new interpretation in response to the immediate needs of himself and others. Even more literally than Jan Assmann intended, Nyangrel truly was the interpreter who, by remembering a past life as Tri Songdetsen, reminded Tibetans of their unification under the banner of Buddhism. In a fractured age now as then, the truth of a common Tibetan identity is at risk of being lost and forgotten. As the Chinese administration continues to severely restrict Tibetan cultural expression at its source, and as diaspora weakens the bonds of cultural coherence abroad, the memory of Padmasambhava’s conversion of Tibet to Buddhism is a universal one that Tibetans still share, a means to identify their selves and recognize their selves in each other.

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continue reading at wisdompubs.org/WJFall16 REMEMBERING THE LOTUS-BORN Daniel A. Hirshberg Don't forget to save 20% with code WPCC11.

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THE MINDFULNESS IN PLAIN ENGLISH JOURNAL

A MINDFULNESS TIP FROM THE MINDFULNESS IN PLAIN ENGLISH JOURNAL

“Don’t expect anything. Just sit back and see what happens. Treat the whole thing as an experiment.Take an active interest in the test itself, but don’t get distracted by your expectations about the results. For that matter, don’t be anxious for any result whatsoever. Let the meditation move along at its own speed and in its own direction. Let the meditation teach you. Meditative awareness seeks to see reality exactly as it is. Whether that corresponds to our expectations or not, it does require a temporary suspension of all of our preconceptions and ideas. We must store our images, opinions, and interpretations out of the way for the duration of the session. Otherwise we will stumble over them.” —Bhante Gunaratana

The Mindfulness in Plain English Journal includes

• Over a dozen mindfulness tips • 60 inspiring quotes from Bhante Gunaratana • 150pagestofillwithyourownthoughts, meditations, and more. Pre-order your journal for a mindful 2017. Available at wisdompubs.org/mindfuljournal.

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The Burden of Mistaken Beliefs An Excerpt from The Grace in Living

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he confusion arising with our idealized expectations of the spiritual path, our “spiritual goals,” is widespread, as is the imputed perfection we place upon the very words awakening and enlightenment.

I’ve heard a hundred versions of “I’ve meditated for twenty years and still find myself afraid or angry or prideful.” Listening closely to the assumptions behind such admissions, it becomes clear how powerfully our mistaken beliefs hold us in their grip. We judge ourselves and our “spiritual progress” as though we know what we are talking about when we use such words. We mistakenly assume our mental images of perfection accurately define an awakened perspective. Many of us misconceive the span and purpose of the spiritual journey—often naively believing it to consist of conditioned “highs” requiring rarefied atmospheres. Many

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people have shared their dismay when, after loving the experience of retreat, they go back into the world and still have a hard time relating to family or coworkers or friends. Clear understanding of the nature of the spiritual journey comes with some maturity. Before that maturity, our misunderstanding can keep us frustratingly trapped in confusion, self-doubt, and discouragement. In essence, the spiritual path is a journey of diminishing the distance between our transformative insights and the moment-by-moment consciousness in which we live with our families and coworkers and friends. We diminish that distance by applying what we know to be true. The spiritual journey is a process of embodying—acting from, sharing from, living from—what we know in our own direct experience. It is not a question of posturing our insights, trying to prop them up and sustain them, or

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trying to recreate the causes and conditions that allowed their revelation. The spiritual path is a path of actualizing our realizations. It is in actualization that our insights are integrated and sustained. As ninth-century Christian mystic Teresa of Ávila noted, “The demand of the spiritual favors granted us is that they be embodied.”

Likewise, when we begin a spiritual journey, unexamined mental and emotional habits that have been left to their own devices for decades, follow in our wake. We bring these beliefs and habit patterns, like tattered luggage weighted with ignorance, along on our pilgrimage. Burdened by who we believe we are—an illusion carried forward from the past—we forfeit who we actually are in each new present moment.

It is common for practitioners to imagine a separation between their “spiritual” life—as we may have come to think of spiritual reading or retreat or formal practice—and all There is much confusion about “perfection,” effort, and that we typically think of as our “ordinary” life (perhaps worthiness. There’s confusion about spiritual goals, and— even holding that ordinary life as our “real” life). When certainly—about the self that is seeking enlightenment. my children were little, We bring a heavy burden of mistaken beliefs with us. T H E R E I S for example, I would ofEven some longtime practiten try to bask in the quiet tioners feel they have to “try N O A R I S I N G of meditation behind my closed harder”—perhaps do more door and then come out and yell at S E P A R A T E prostrations, more periods of the poor kids for making noise while or pray more each F R O M B E I N G . meditation, I was meditating. It took years for me day—in order to “achieve” the to realize the folly of attempting to keep a closed door be- imagined spiritual goal. Many of us hold awakening as tween what I perceived to be my two separate lives. though it were an addition task, an attainment that will

As our practice matures, that imagined distance between our spiritual life and the rest of our life diminishes and awakening embraces our daily presence in relationships, traffic, the office, and an unpredictable body.

be ours when we’ve accumulated “enough.” Many mistakenly believe that awakening depends upon reaching some elusive magical number that will set off all the bells and whistles, like a game at a carnival. “I need to do more work” and “I have a long way to go” are oft-heard refrains.

It is wise to name our entire life, including all its messy circumstances, as “spiritual practice.” Other than in our own We keep ourselves trapped in our believed separation from misconceptions, our mistaken beliefs, there is no moment grace in countless ways. outside of our spiritual path. There is no arising separate Many practitioners are stuck in the mistaken belief that from Being. awakening will occur when they have “perfected” their Confused images and mistaken expectations about the meditative or contemplative practice. Every authentic traspiritual journey abound. Each can land any of us squarely dition offers a practice at its core. Knowing the hows of our in discouragement. chosen practice is important, certainly, but we don’t want to focus on technique alone, hoping it will bring us as if by There often seems to be confusion about what awakenconveyer belt to the land of enlightenment. The technicaling is. Awakening is often sensationalized or romanticized. ities of practice pale in comparison with the power of our Within any spiritual tradition, there can be rose-colored intention, our heart’s longing for the sacred. That power idealism about the goals and rewards of the path. We ourselves carry them into the sanctuary or meditation hall is matched only by the longing of the sacred for our wanwith us. Sometimes the confusion about awakening is dering attention to return home to it. As Basil Penningadded to unintentionally from unskillful teaching or from ton, the contemplative Christian teacher, noted, “Every the distortions of teachers with egoic agendas—whether prayer is a response to a movement of grace, whether we are aware of it or not, whether we consciously experience financial, sexual, or the need to feel superior. the movement, the call, the attraction or not. We are miss“Spiritual” words are often spoken in hushed tones empha- ing reality if we think otherwise.” sizing misunderstood notions. A lofty “endpoint” is held as not present now but as bliss attainable in the future, if you work hard enough and meet the stringent criteria. The continue reading at wisdompubs.org/WJFall16 imparted idealism mixes with our unexamined ignorance. Each of us begins our spiritual journey with our conceptual mind holding sovereignty. It is inevitable that confusion will abound as we begin to interface with views beyond conceptuality’s grasp.

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THE GRACE IN LIVING Kathleen Dowling Singh Don't forget to save 20% with code WPCC11.

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THE BUDDHA IN EACH REALM A N E X C E R P T F R O M A W A K E N I N G F R O M T H E D A Y D R E A M Wheel of Life illustration by Andrew Archer

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n the original Wheel, there is a Buddha teaching the inhabitants of each realm, speaking a language they can understand based on the quality of their experience. The Buddhas represent the possibility for us to develop insight, wisdom and compassion, regardless of our circumstances.

insight, and change old patterns. The Buddha in the human realm is sometimes depicted as holding a begging bowl, representing the wandering mendicant who takes the teachings to heart and develops renunciation from the purely materialistic lifestyle, in order to develop greater spiritual realization.

In the traditional iconography, each realm has a Buddha in different guises, teaching the beings of that realm how to transform their circumstances. The Buddha represents the qualities of enlightenment, expressed in a way that will be accessible to the beings within that particular mindset. For example, the Buddha in the jealous god realm is holding a sword of wisdom. Even when we are caught up in competitiveness and aggression, we might still be able to access a feeling of sharpness and power in terms of dealing with people and situations, enabling us to sometimes move beyond purely selfish motivation, and lead us toward developing qualities that can bring out the best in ourselves and others.

There is also usually a Buddha standing outside of the Wheel, representing transcending the six realms altogether. Such people are said to be free from imprisonment in the six realms—free of karma—and only appear in the six realms in order to teach and liberate the beings within the realms out of compassion. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to meet people who remind us of this kind of possibility.

The Buddha in the hungry ghost realm is holding sustenance in a vial and is presenting the virtue of generosity. When we are in the hungry ghost realm we are completely stuck in a cycle based on their our own sense of impoverishment and low self-esteem, so the ideas of having even moderate satisfaction and of being generous to others can be liberating for us. In the human realm, as mentioned, there is enough openness to actually allow us to hear new ideas, develop

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The role of the Buddhas in the Wheel points to the possibility of transforming our experience within each realm. We can either see our karma and our life in the realms as imprisonment or we can see them as the opportunity for liberation: It is completely up to us.

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continue reading at wisdompubs.org/WJFall16 AWAKENING FROM THE DAYDREAM David Nichtern Don't forget to save 20% with code WPCC11.

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Coming Soon

hood that is widely regarded as a meditator’s core textbook.

J O S H B A R T O K O N T H E H O R I Z O N A T W I S D O M

Wisdom has a full slate of wonderful books coming in the spring; we are looking forward to releasing these and many other new titles so they may be of benefit to many. We are excited to announce that His Holiness the Karmapa Editorial Director Josh Bartok will be launching his new book with us this spring: Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society. As we’re sure you’ll see in the excerpt featured in this issue, it’s an important, engaging book from one of the world’s emergent spiritual leaders. Interconnected is sure to be a wave-making book that will inspire much good work in the service of all beings. We’ll also be publishing a key Tibetan text from the Karmapa’s tradition: Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation. Essential reading for Kagyu practitioners for centuries, this new and inspiring translation offers a map to buddha-

F R E E

L A M A

Loving-Kindness in Plain English: The Practice of Metta is our newest book from best-selling author Bhante Gunaratana. Bhante G. is back again here in his signature warm and clear style, and we know this book will brighten the lives of many people—just as Mindfulness in Plain English has done for readers for years. Sumi Loundon Kim has crafted a delightful series called Sitting Together: A Family-Centered Curriculum on Mindfulness, Meditation, and Buddhist Teachings. This three-volume set includes separate lesson plans for adults and children as well as an activity book—it is sure to be a welcome resource for families at home and at their local Buddhist centers. In addition, Beata Grant (Daughters of Emptiness) has translated an beautiful new book, Zen Echoes, featuring the writings of three celebrated female Chan masters; and Guy Armstrong, guiding teacher for Spirit Rock, will be publishing his much-anticipated first book: Emptiness: A Practical Introduction for Meditators. We have so much more to share with you too—stay tuned! With palms together, Josh Bartok Editorial Director

Z O P A

E B O O K

On Compassion Four inspiring, helpful writings from Lama Zopa: • • • •

Why Others Need Our Compassion We Are Responsible for All Sentient Beings Why It Is Possible to Generate Compassion Approaching Enemies with Compassion

Go to wisdompubs.org/on-compassion to download your free ebook

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THE HARMONY OF DIFFERENCE AND SAMENESS A N E X C E R P T F R O M I N S I D E V A S U B A N D H U ’ S Y O G A C A R A

Thus it is neither the same nor different from the other-dependent; Like impermanence, etc., when one isn’t seen, the other also is not seen. Verse 22, “Thirty Verses on Consciousness Only”

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t would be hard to overstate the importance of the language of nondualism in Mahayana literature, and we see its origins in the earliest Buddhist teachings. In the Samyutta Nikaya, the Buddha teaches that wrong view “depends on duality, upon the idea that things exist and the idea that things don’t exist.” Countless Mahayana sutras deconstruct dualistic conceptions to point toward a mind that is completely liberated from divisions and separation, a mind that is free and intimate with everything,

I F A L L P H E M P T Y O F T H E R E I S H O L D O N N O T H I N G

E N O M E N A A R E S E L F - N A T U R E , N O T H I N G T O T O A N D T O R E J E C T.

a mind of infinite compassion. Seeing through dualisms, or seeing their emptiness, is held up as absolutely central to enlightenment. In the Heart Sutra, the most widely chanted text in most Mahayana schools, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, the embodiment of compassion, teaches that form is emptiness and emptiness is form. He goes on to say that every sight, sound, smell, suffering, liberation, and thought is exactly not itself. Each thing is no-thing. To realize this is to enter infinite compassion. Like seeing everything we perceive as being imaginary, seeing everything as both itself and not-itself disarms the rigidity of our views and liberates us from the tendency to suffer due to the attachments that grow from those views. If you find the concept that form is emptiness hard to grasp, that is just fine. The language of nondualism presents an ungraspable vision of the world. If all phenomena are empty of self-nature, there is nothing to hold on to and nothing to reject. There is no ground on which suffering can originate.

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THE POTENTIAL OF ORIGINAL PURITY A N

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he first of the eleven topics is how the basis (the natural reality of things) is present before realization produced buddhas and nonrealization produced sentient beings. In general, the positions of the tradition of the Great Perfection do not exceed seven: 1. The position that asserts the basis is naturally perfect 2. The position that asserts the basis is unfixed 3. The position that asserts the basis is ultimately fixed 4. The position that asserts the basis is totally mutable 5. The position that asserts the basis can be accepted as anything at all 6. The position that asserts the basis is polychromatic 7. The position that asserts the basis is originally pure

Further, The Realms and Transformations of Sound Tantra states: Naturally perfect reality also has seven modalities: naturally perfect from the perspective of diversity; unfixed from the aspect of the gauge of movement; fixed from the aspect of stillness; the gauge of appearance changing into anything; accepted [as anything] because of producing everything; because delusion is pure, originally pure; and asserted as polychromatic because of its differentiated mode of appearance. The Six Dimensions Tantra states: The basis that is naturally perfect at the beginning is nothing other than one thing. However, if it is confirmed with authoritative understanding through the positions of deluded appearances, there is an appearance of seven stages appearing in this way because oneness was not recognized in the mode of the appearance of a single entity. Now then, the meaning of this is as follows: the basis is present as naturally perfect, appearing as the essence that subsumes the diversity. It is present as unfixed, appearing as an aspect of mental movement. It is present as fixed in its own state, appearing without change in recollection. It is present as transformable, appearing as an aspect of mind because of effort.

I N

T H I S

L I F E

It is present as any sort of entity, whatever appears, appears as its own essence. It is present as polychromatic, appearing in the form of each individual element of diversity. It is present as pure from the beginning, having always appeared as immaculate. Among all of these stages of intellect, the essence is pure from the beginning. When the asserted positions about the seven bases that are the object of knowledge are divided into two, there are six defective positions concerning the basis and the faultless position of original purity, which is confirmed in our own texts. Among people who think about such things, there are two intellectual dispositions: people who follow philosophical tenets and people who follow the path. A follower of philosophical tenets asserts that all objects of knowledge are confirmed from the seven positions because assertions about the basis are confirmed through proofs, refutations, contradictions, and replies. Those other six defective philosophical tenets are clearly explained in the Six Dimensions, and so on. However, those who follow philosophical tenets resemble someone who has not seen VajrÄ sana telling stories about VajrÄ sana. Simply put, they do not confirm the profound meaning that is to be understood. Here, it is primarily people who follow the path, those who severed all proliferation concerning objects of knowledge in order to understand the intrinsic nature of the reality of the basis. A tantra states: Out of all these different intellectual dispositions, the intrinsic essence is pure from the beginning. Since the six assertions about the basis are recognized as the potential of original purity, the practice of the faultless philosophical tenet is like explaining VajrÄ sana having been there. That is without error. In addition, it is so because the explanatory description is faultless. People who follow philosophical tenets can only partially explain how the six assertions about the basis are defective.

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eople and places fall away like dry leaves. Borders shift and fade. I have grown old now, and it is so much easier to forget, so much more difficult to distinguish truth from fiction. Memory is an abandoned mineshaft cut deep into the earth; it absorbs the narrow beam of light cast downward from above. Toss a stone over the side, and it disappears, tumbling soundlessly through space. There are times when one is thankful not to remember. The psychologist Carl Jung wrote about islands of consciousness washed by the dark waters of forgetting. In the Bhagavadgita, Lord Krishna confides to Arjuna: I have entered into the hearts of all; from me come memory, knowledge, and forgetfulness. All of us harbor memories we might prefer to forget. A careless deed, an indiscreet word. We know the meaning of remorse. But forgetting can never be deliberate. The blessed lapse of memory comes to us while we sleep, a thief in the night. And what is stolen will never be missed. In these matters one may justly speak of grace. The structure of reason and of history—the material out of which identity is forged—depends as much on what is consigned to the depths as on what adheres to the troubled surface of thought. It would soon be two years since my arrival in India. I dreaded the thought of a return to my own past in Chicago. Now I was one of the foreigners who had made a home in India, one of the travelers who had ceased to travel, spirits crossed over into a land beyond time. We survived on our accumulation of merit, profiting greatly from an international exchange rate that made us wealthy beyond our means. Or, we lived by our wits, moving from one clever moneymaking scheme to the next. We were not Indians, nor were we tourists. We were not there to save the starving poor, to work for an NGO, or to cut deals with politicians or businessmen. Nor were we academics—that peculiar class of merchants whose business it is to trade in ideas. We had left all that behind. Whatever we might have been in a previous life, it was no longer important. Our path to salvation rested on a single, minimal requirement: no return ticket.

REFLECTIONS ON MEMORY AND TIME AN EXCERPT FROM M AYA : A N O V E L 26

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FAITH AND CONFIDENCE

An Excerpt from Know Where You’re Going

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here is no closer relationship than the one we have with our own spiritual path. It is the closest connection we can possibly have. If we have a relationship with another person, such as in a marriage, and we don’t give ourselves to it wholeheartedly, but have constant doubts about whether this is the right person and the right situation, the marriage will not be successful. Yet when one first gets married, one doesn’t know what may eventuate. This also holds true for the spiritual path. When we first enter it, we don’t know what may result. We don’t understand a lot of the teaching yet. We have few reference points, because so far we haven’t looked into ourselves deeply enough. However, unless we give ourselves to the path wholeheartedly, our practice cannot possibly be a success. Few people are capable of wholehearted commitment, and that is why so few people experience a real transformation through their spiritual practice. It is a matter of giving up our own viewpoints, of letting go of opinions and preconceived ideas, and of following the Buddha’s guidelines instead. Although this sounds simple, in practice most people find it extremely difficult. Their ingrained viewpoints, based on deductions derived from cultural and social norms, are in the way. We must also remember that heart and mind need to work together. If we understand something rationally but don’t love it, there is no completeness for us, no fulfillment. If we love something but don’t understand it, the same applies. If we have a relationship with another person, and we love the person but don’t understand him or her, the relationship is incomplete; if we understand the person but don’t love him or her, it is equally unfulfilling. How much more so on our spiritual path. We have to understand the meaning of the teaching, and also love it. In the beginning our understanding will only be partial, so our love has to be even greater. Faith and confidence are based on the opening of the heart, and the letting go of our own notions of what

the teaching and the teacher should represent. Our expectations need to be discarded, since they are based on assumptions and not facts. We can become like a child holding his mother’s hand to cross a busy street, having confidence that his mother will know best. If we are able to give ourselves in that way, a feeling of happiness arises. The Buddha compared faith to a blind giant who meets up with a very sharp-eyed cripple, called Wisdom. The blind giant, called Faith, says to the sharp-eyed cripple, “I am very strong, but I can’t see; you are very weak, but you have sharp eyes. Come and ride on my shoulders. Together we will go far.” The Buddha never supported blind faith, but a balance between heart and mind, between wisdom and faith. The two together will go far. The saying that blind faith can move mountains unfortunately omits the fact that, being blind, faith doesn’t know which mountain needs moving. That’s where wisdom is essential, which means that a thorough understanding of the teaching is crucial. Even if, at the beginning, the Dhamma seems difficult or alien, we have to make our inquiry wholeheartedly. If we work on anything, whether planting a garden or building a house, it has to be done wholeheartedly. That kind of endeavor promises success. Everything else is like dabbling in yet another new hobby. Only when we have realized that there is no other way out of unsatisfactoriness will we be ready to immerse ourselves deeply. If we are still looking for a loophole, looking for happiness in the world, our commitment to the spiritual practice is not complete. Spiritual practice touches upon the raw edges in ourselves and reaches deeply within, where in the end we may not recognize ourselves anymore. We can compare this to turning ourselves inside out; that which we like to hide from ourselves and others has to be made visible. Only then can it be healed. Because this is difficult and often painful, our commitment has to be total, deriving from the understanding of understanding.

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continue reading at wisdompubs.org/WJFall16 KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING Ayya Khema

Photo by Kilian Schönberger W I S D O M P U B S . O R G

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THE FIRST PA N C H E N , LOSANG CHÖKYI G Y E LT S E N A N E X C E R P T E N L I G H T E N E D

F R O M B E I N G S

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s for the first Panchen Lama, Losang Chökyi Gyeltsen, he was born in the town of Drukgya in the region called Hlen of Tsangrong. There, many greatly learned ones—such as Ba Yeshe Wangpo and the incomparable Yakde Panchen—had previously taken birth. Likewise, into a [family] lineage of many holy ones, in the Iron Male Horse year [1570], to a father called Künga Öser and a mother called Tsogyel, he was born accompanied by numerous incomprehensibly wondrous signs. As was advised by lamas and gods, he was given the name Chögyel Pelden Sangpo. From early childhood, he learned by heart and without effort various prayers and recitations such as the Heart Sūtra and the Mañjuśrī-nāma-san.giti, simply by hearing them once. Now, moreover, the great Gyelwa Ensapa himself had formerly admonished his Rabjampa [Sanggye Yeshe] not to worry too much since, in order to further propagate the Dharma, he would soon come again to that place. Kedrub Sanggye Yeshe knew also, owing to a dream, when Gyelwa Ensapa had reincarnated at Drukgya. Even so, in order to be absolutely certain, the Venerable Langmikpa Chökyi Gyeltsen, who possessed the supernormal faculty of “seeing arisings and passings away,” was asked [by Sanggye Yeshe] to investigate whether this newborn prince of Drukgya was in fact the true incarnation of the great Gyelwa Ensapa. The Venerable Langmikpa responded: “Even though this son of Drukgya had to advance one lifetime, he is without doubt Ensapa’s reincarnation. Further, there ought to be a match between his name and mine, so he should be named Chökyi Gyeltsen.” In this way, the great Gyelwa Ensapa’s reincarnation was verified. As was advised by the Venerable Langmikpa, the boy was named Chökyi Gyeltsen when he was ordained, and, beyond that, Losang was also added. At five years of age, he memorized the ritual texts of the Seven Sūgatas and performed his pujas daily, never missing any important occasion. During this time, the learned Sanggye Yeshe stayed at Drukgya during most autumns, giving instruction [to this young one]. Read the full biography at wisdompubs.org/WJFall16 Illustration from “Contributions on Tibet” in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol. LI (1882)

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LEARNING FROM THE LIVES OF MAHASIDDHAS A N E X C E R P T F R O M L A M A Y E S H E ’ S T H E B L I S S O F I N N E R F I R E

Rinpoche was saying that this is happening in the Tibetan community, but it is good for us, too, to keep his words in mind. Can you imagine spending twenty or thirty years studying the Dharma and still not improving within yourself, still not even knowing how to begin to practice? You might think that this is not possible, yet it can happen. The Six Yogas of Naropa are not something philosophical. You have to act, so that some inner transformation takes place. The teachings must become real for you. Take karma, for instance. When we talk about karma, we intellectualize so much. We need to come down to earth. Karma is not something complicated or philosophical. Karma means watching your body, watching your mouth, and watching your mind. Trying to keep these three doors as pure as possible is the practice of karma. There are many monks leading ascetic lives in Dharamsala in India, where His Holiness the Dalai Lama lives. Even though they are perhaps not very learned, they spend many years meditating and doing retreat in small huts on the mountainsides. On the other hand, there are other very learned monks who do not want to live ascetic lives. Those living in retreat on the mountain really try to taste the Dharma, and I think they succeed. They taste the chocolate, while the famous scholars miss out. In the end, it doesn’t matter who you are; if you want to taste something, you have to go to the taste-place. It is exactly the same in the West. Many people easily gain an incredible intellectual understanding of Buddhism, but it is a dry understanding that does not fertilize the heart.

Lama Yeshe in Sicily

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t is good to think about the lives of mahasiddhas such as Naropa and Lama Je Tsongkhapa so that you know how you have to practice. Even after you have learned lam-rim, there are still times when you are unclear about what you have to do. When you look at the lifestyles of the mahasiddhas, many things become clear. We can see from their biographies that intellectual knowledge of Dharma alone is not enough—we have to practice. There are many stories of learned Dharma scholars having to ask for guidance from people who have not studied any of the vast treatises but who have really tasted the few teachings they have received. I remember Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, the Junior Tutor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, saying in his teachings that when it comes to practice, many intellectuals have to go to beggars on the street to ask for advice. Even though these scholars may have intellectually learned the entire sutra and tantra teachings and may even teach them to many students, they are still empty when it comes to practice.

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On the other hand, some people have heard just a few lamrim teachings, such as the workings of the negative mind, but they begin to look inside themselves and to meditate. The teachings gradually become part of them. The mere intellectuals, however, think that the negative mind is somewhere else—up on top of Mount Everest, perhaps. They don’t care about the negative mind because they think that it doesn’t refer to them. My point is that as soon as you clearly understand a subject, you should hold it in your heart and practice it. You will then taste the teaching. For example, once someone has shown you exactly how to make pizza—how to combine the tomatoes, the mozzarella cheese, the herbs, and so forth—that is enough for you to make pizza and to eat it.

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In the Buddha’s Words

A regular Wisdom Journal feature with passages from the Pāli Canon. The Purpose of a Mirror “What do you think, Rāhula? What is the purpose of a mirror?” “For the purpose of reflection, Bhante.” “So too, Rāhula, an action with the body should be done after repeated reflection; an action by speech should be done after repeated reflection; an action by mind should be done after repeated reflection. “Rāhula, when you wish to do an action with the body, you should reflect upon that same bodily action thus: ‘Would this action that I wish to do with the body lead to my own affliction, or to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both? Is it an unwholesome bodily action with painful consequences, with painful results?’ When you reflect, if you know: ‘This action that I wish to do with the body would lead to my own affliction, or to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both; it is an unwholesome bodily action with painful consequences, with painful results,’ then you definitely should not do such an action with the body. But when you reflect, if you know: ‘This action that I wish to do with the body would not lead to my own affliction, or to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both; it is a wholesome bodily action with pleasant consequences, with pleasant results,’ then you may do such an action with the body. Majjhima Nikāya 61 Excerpted from The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony

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ON BECOMING A MONK A N

E X C E R P T F R O M J O U R N E Y T O M I N D F U L N E S S

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knelt before the senior monk, Venerable Sumanatissa, and bowed three times. He told me to seek permission from my father to enter the homeless life of a mendicant. So I knelt in front of my father and repeated the ritual of three bows, each time touching my forehead to the floor at his feet to express respect. I remember my father’s solemn face looking down at me. When I returned to the monks, Venerable Sumanatissa cut a few strands of my hair with a pair of scissors and told me to repeat after him: “Hair on the head, hair on the body, nails, teeth, skin.” The parts of the body were to be my first subject of meditation. It is a traditional assignment given to all novices, reflecting the Buddha’s First Foundation of Mindfulness, the physical form. In one of his key discourses, the Mahasatipatthana Sutta, the Discourse on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, the Buddha laid out four subjects toward which we should direct attention: our body, our feelings and emotions, our consciousness itself, and the mental objects of consciousness. If we really look at those four things with total, undivided, and clear attention, we begin to see that they’re all in flux all the time. They move and flow, changing from one moment to the next, leaving no possibility to cling to any one moment’s experience. Contemplating those four constantly fluctuating objects, we see the impermanence of everything manifest in our own being. Moreover, we see that there’s no difference between ourselves and others. We are, each and every one of us, a conglomeration of body, feelings, consciousness, and mental objects. Understanding this, we become more magnanimous with others. Jealousy and separateness fade, and are replaced by growing compassion and loving-friendliness. But not for a twelve-year-old boy in the midst of his novice ordination— all of that, of course, is still a distant goal on the day a novice monk receives his first subject of meditation. The older bhikkhus might equally well instruct a novice to work with any of the other four foundations of mindfulness, but they always choose the body because it is very easy, even for the beginner, to perceive. The body is, so to speak, right there, in all its lust-producing, pain-creating, pride-swelling physicality. And as I knelt before my preceptor, I had only the dimmest idea of what I would later learn about that first foundation of mindfulness.

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L O O K I N G A T T H E M O O N TH E MOON WAS BR IGHT AN D I Y EAR NE D FOR YOU S O. SM OOTHING MY BE DCLOTHE S , I W EN T IN THE GAR DE N AND G AZED AWHILE AT THE MOON. S L O W LY,

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I C O U L D C L E A R LY S E E Y O U R B ROAD BR OW, R OUND NOS E , AN D FINE MUS TACHE . A

Y EAR

AG O , I THOUGHT YOUR WAS LIKE THE MOON;

FACE

TONIGHT THE MOON H AS B E COME YOUR FACE . SI N CE

Y OUR FACE IS THE S O IS MINE .

MOON,

B UT DO YOU KNOW THAT MY FACE HAS BE COME TH E WANING MOON? SI N CE

Y OU R FACE IS THE S O IS MINE .

MOON,

From Everything Yearned For: Manhae’s Poems of Love and Longing, translated by Francisca Cho

Photo by David Gabriel Fischer | thezendiary.com W I S D O M P U B S . O R G

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The Wisdom Journal, Fall 2016 (Issue 2)  

Published three times a year, the Wisdom Journal features excerpts from our newest titles, striking photography, information on new releases...

The Wisdom Journal, Fall 2016 (Issue 2)  

Published three times a year, the Wisdom Journal features excerpts from our newest titles, striking photography, information on new releases...