Lovingkindness Is as Important as Transcendence

From the Daily Dharma. Is it possible that my early introduction to Buddhist philosophy was filtered through the lens of these American dharma teachers. As a pagan, I believe that this world, this physical existence, is a gift. I don’t long for Nirvana anymore than I long for Heaven. The idea of a rest in the Summerlands between lifetimes does appeal to me, though. And I’ve experienced myself the suffering that comes from attachment, and the serenity and joy that follows surrender and radical acceptance.

Untie the Boat

When we first brought one of our teachers to the States, we asked him what he thought of the American dharma scene. We had started these different centers and were very proud of what had happened. He said that he thought it was wonderful but that sometimes American practitioners reminded him of people sitting in a boat rowing very strenuously, with great sincerity and effort, but refusing to untie the boat from the dock. He said we reminded him of that in our fixation on transcendental experiences to the neglect of a sweeping view of how we’re behaving day to day, how we’re speaking to our family members, how we’re taking care of one another, or whatever. That’s why I think it is tremendously important to continually open and expand our understanding of where freedom is and where the dharma lies.

– Sharon Salzberg, “The Dharma of Liberation,” from the Spring 1993 Tricycle. Read the complete article.

http://www.tricycle.com/special-section/the-dharma-liberation-an-interview-with-sharon-salzberg