By Ani Tenzin Palmo
Choice of Dharma teachings addressing problems with universal obstacle to Buddhist practitioners from all traditions.
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Extra info for Reflections On A Mountain Lake: Teachings on Practical Buddhism
I speak from experience here. It is hard to cling to nothing at all. It is particularly hard to stop clinging to our image of who “I” am, to just let it all drop. We need to learn gradually how to do that. This is what zazen is all about. You sit nakedly. Your body is not moving. Your voice is not expressing. And the mind itself is letting go and just being present. Hopefully we are not elaborating on our fantasies. Hopefully we are sitting in a state of nakedness and absolute simplicity. That is the ultimate renunciation.
In fact, they are just as relevant—if not more relevant—in today’s society, based as it is on greed and violence. Adhering to these ethics is like building the foundation of a house— it’s not exciting work. Nobody ever described the job of laying foundations as thrilling. But it can nonetheless be very rewarding. If you build solid foundations, you can then build up sturdy walls easily and quickly. On the other hand, if the foundations are weak, the walls will be unstable, however attractive they may appear.
We question until we begin to ask ourselves, “Where is this essential ‘I’? ” The moment we understand this, we understand everything. ” Our normal mode of thinking is based on dualism. It is based on “I” and ethics and the three trainings 45 what “I” am thinking or doing. Practicing vipashyana brings us into direct contact with non-dual awareness. For example, if we were to look up at the sky on a cloudy day, we would normally associate ourselves with the obscuring clouds of our thoughts and emotions—whether they be white, black, or shades in between.
Reflections On A Mountain Lake: Teachings on Practical Buddhism by Ani Tenzin Palmo