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Lions Roar : March 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2008 24 an altar in our home. We have malas. We have zafus, and from time to time I even sit on one. My daughter is quite at home at the Zen center where I practice; she has grown up there, and she is loved by my teacher and sangha. She knows a good thing when she sees it. Still, at age eight, she repudiates my Buddhism. She rejects my short hair and my robes. She mocks my meditation. To be sure, offspring tend to reject what par- ents signify. When I try to prompt her in the practice, when I try to interest her in a sweetly benign Buddhist children’s book, a roll of her eyes reminds me where I’m coming from: my ego. As a Buddhist, I might have unwit- tingly given my daughter something to re- nounce. But then, renunciation is a good practice to get into. It’s what the Buddha taught. So perhaps she’s already a better Buddhist than I am. Like everything else about her, I’ll just have to see how it goes. If my approach to this topic seems intellectually inconclusive, that may be because I’m a Zen Buddhist. Depending on your point of view, you could easily judge Zen to be either the least Buddhist or the most Buddhist of all the variants, aiming as it does to transcend dualistic thought solely through the practice of zazen, or Zen meditation. I rather hope that you don’t judge it at all. Dogen Zenji, the thirteenth-century founder of the Soto School, wrote, “The Buddha Way lies outside thinking, analysis, proph- esy, introspection, knowledge, and wise explanation.” Given that, I no longer see how an individual point of view—yours, What does it mean to be a Buddhist parent? Any parent, regardless of their beliefs, awakens to the whole of Buddha’s teaching by not knowing what it means. April 19 & 20, 2008 Ann Arbor, MI Engaging Wisdom and Compassion www.ticketmaster.com www.DalaiLamaAnnArbor.com Sponsored by: Jewel Heart The Tibet Fund • Garrison Institute April 20, 2008 Public Talk: Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability Sponsored by: University of Michigan and the School of Natural Resources & Environment His Holiness The Dalai Lama MAR 18-41.indd 24 MAR 18-41.indd 24 12/19/07 2:34:06 PM 12/19/07 2:34:06 PM