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Lions Roar : March 2006
at the same time the water. A wave can live her life as a wave, of course, but it is possible for a wave to live the life of a wave and the life of water at the same time. If she can bend down and touch the water in her, she loses all her fear. Beginning, ending, coming up, going down-these don't make her afraid anymore, because she realizes she's water. So there are two dimensions in the wave. The historical dimension is coming up and going down. But in the ultimate dimension of water, there is no up, no down, no being, no nonbeing. The two dimensions are together and when you touch one dimension deeply enough, you touch the other dimension. There's no separation at all between the two dimensions. Every- thing is skillful means in order to help you touch the ultimate. Some people I have spoken to seem to interpret the concept of inter- being as a statement that all things are one. That sounds like one of those views we're not supposed to hold on to. Yes. One is a notion, and many is also a notion. It's like being and nonbeing. You say that God is the foundation of being, and then people ask, "Who is the foundation of nonbeing?" [laughs] That is why that notion of being and nonbeing can- not be applied to reality. They're only notions. The notion of two different things, or just one, are also notions. Sameness and otherness are notions. Nirvana is the removal of all no- tions, including the notions of sameness and otherness. So interbeing does not mean that everything is one or that every- SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER 300 Page Street San Francisco, CA 94102 415-863-3136 www.sfzc.org City Center 300 Page St. San Francisco, CA 94102 415-863-3136 Offers one-day and weeklong medi- tation retreats, practice periods, residential training, and a guest student program. Green Gulch Farm 1601 Shoreline Hwy. Sausalito, CA 94965 415-383-3134 Offers one-day and weeklong medi- tation retreats, one and two month practice periods, residential farm and work apprenticeship programs, and a guest student program. Tassajara Zen Mountain Center 39171 Tassajara Rd. Carmel Valley, CA 93924 Offers traditional Soto Zen 90-day training periods and a summer work practice program. Call the City Center front office for infor- mation: 415-863-3136. 100 SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2006 thing is different. It will help you to remove both, so you are not holding a view. You said that the Buddha was a human being. But the Mahayana says that there are countless buddhas and bodhisattvas at many levels of existence who are sending their compassion to us. How are we rationalist Westerners to understand these beings? How can we open ourselves to them when we can't perceive them with our five senses? In Buddhism, the Buddha is considered as a teacher, a human being, and not a god. It is very important to tell people that. I don't need the Buddha to be a god. He is a teacher, and that is good enough for me! I think we have to tell people in the West about that. And because the Buddha was a human being, that is why countless buddhas become possible. Did the Buddha die? Sure. As a human being, you should be born and you should die. That is the historical dimension. Then you have to touch the Buddha deeply in order to touch his or her ultimate dimension. You can also look deeply at an ordinary human being-not a buddha, just anon - buddha like myself or yourself. If you look deeply at yourself, you see that you have this historical dimen- sion-you have birth and death. But if you look at yourself more deeply, you see that your true nature is the nature of no birth and no death. You are also like a buddha: you have never no eye no ear no nose no chicken