One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism
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One of America's most respected Buddhist teachers distills a lifetime of practice and teaching in this groundbreaking exploration of the new Buddhist tradition taking root on American soil.
into the room. It seems there was only one blanket on his bed, and the caretaker asked into the darkened room if anyone had an extra blanket. I realized then that there were actually three on my cot. But still feeling cold and caught in the selfish mind seeking its own comfort, I just lay there not saying anything, pretending to be asleep. Even thirty-five years later I remember the rationalization: “I didn’t ask for the extra blanket. It was just there.” Other levels of larceny can be explored
following is an incident that happened a year before September 11th. In today’s climate, the consequences of such frivolous speech would be considerably greater. After many weeks of planning, a friend of mine was leaving on a trip to Bali, Indonesia. He was at Kennedy airport in New York, just settling into an upgraded first-class seat on the plane. Having previously injured his hand, he had some kind of plastic balls for exercising it. When the flight attendant came by to offer some drinks and
tracks. I was simply unable to take another step forward. Rather than just stand there, I returned to my hotel wondering about this rather peculiar event. The next day, I decided to go to Benares instead. After a few days of wandering in this Hindu holy city, I resolved to go back to New Delhi and try again. But in a rickshaw going to the train station, the thought of Bodh Gaya unexpectedly popped into my mind. Maybe I would go there, to the place of the Buddha’s enlightenment, and sit myself
the other, sometimes dismissing the alternate perspective altogether. The path of One Dharma understands that each of these truths—the relative and the ultimate—is the expression of the other. And so we use whichever aspect, whichever means, is suitable for us at the moment. Sometimes relative practices prepare the ground for an understanding of the ultimate. At other times, our understanding of the ultimate informs our various practices on the relative level. These two truths provide a context
mindful of how often emotions are triggered and then fed by unnoticed thoughts and images. We may be going along in our lives, and then a fleeting thought or image arises in the mind that perhaps stirs a memory of some past event or an anticipation of some future one, which then can suddenly flood the mind with some strong emotion. It all happens very quickly. The more we see emotions arising out of combinations of conditions, the less we personalize them. This doesn’t mean we don’t feel them,