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The Daily Dharma – May 24, 2021

Panorama of McCloud River Middle Falls waterfall near Mount Shasta, California.

Continuing from Touching Enlightenment; Finding Realization in the Body . . .

Increasingly in this world of ours, there is no longer any geographical forest for us practitioners to retire to. It is not just that the places frequented by lonely meditators have been overrun by modern civilization – forests sold off to multinational corporations and quickly cut down, roads built through retreat areas, social, political, and economic policies that effectively destroy the possibility of forest renunciation. It is also that even the idea of the “forest” has become largely marginalized in modern Buddhism. Every manifestation of Buddhism, it now seems, must immediately demonstrate “social engagement” and ethical impact.” It is not, as we shall see below, that these are unimportant values. But now, more and more, they have become a litmus test to determine which forms of Buddhism are acceptable and which are not. Thus, the true forest is quickly disappearing, perhaps forever, from our world.

To be continued . . .

Waterfall in the Forest Image Seamus Berkeley