Here is something new. This is everyday dharma reporting from this cushion. I’m starting this blog while in fall practice somewhere on the west coast of the united states. Life situations today include communicating and connecting with a sangha at large in ways that are specific to our age. The internet is one.
I was encouraged and inspired recently to reflect on how the dharma adapts to the western world, to our culture and customs. The dharma is compatible with every existing religion and it could enrich many existing spiritual traditions in the west. Since the arrival of the first teachers in the last centuries many aspects of our life have been changed (consciously or inconsciously) by the buddhist practice. Psychotherapy, healing arts, yoga, meditation etc. People just don’t put the name on it but the source is pretty obvious.
In Tibet there’s no word for buddhist. The translation is something like ‘internalist’, someone who deals with the inside. That’s pretty good and I tend to avoid using the word Buddhist myself in daily life. Either I’m in the company of other buddhists and we’re connected pretty well or I’m in the company of non-buddhists and stereotypes abound. Most people still think meditation is the annihilation of thoughts. This would be nihilistic. And meditation is not the only facet of practice. Much education is necessary in the modern world.
Which is why I have started modern-dharma.net