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The Utmost Importance of BEING Dharma

Dr. David Am KoeBeighley, Sunim, Abbot/Head Monk

October 13, 2022

In a recent news article, the journalist reported a story of a car that was reported driving erratically through downtown streets. The police were alerted, the vehicle was spotted by local police who followed it and noticed the car weaving as it proceeded down the street. The police pulled the car over, suspecting an impaired driver and were surprised to find it being driven by a 9 year old boy. Upon questioning, it was discovered that the boy was in the process of returning the car after taking an impaired adult to his home upon request of the man. The boy was taken home by police and the man was later arrested for drug possession. The point of the story for the purposes of this blog was not that a boy was driving a car or that the man who asked him to do it was a drug offender. The point is that there are numerous reasons nine-year olds are not issued a driver's license. The are not capable of physically, mentally, intellectually, or emotionally being given the responsibility of freely driving a two-ton vehicle on public roads! While he was DOING the driving, he was not BEING a safe and responsible driver and abiding by the rules of the road.

The same is true of being a Teacher of the Dharma. It is simply not enough to know the Precepts, the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Sutras, the life of the Buddha, the chants, meditation techniques and much more. While it is imperative that a Teacher of the Dharma KNOW all of these things, it is far more important that these aspects are woven into the very fabric of a Teacher's daily life, mindset, heart-sense, and, ultimately, their very BEING. That the Teacher is him or herself a Buddha in every sense of identity. Additionally, the Teacher must understand that there is no such thing as an independent "self" and that all things are irrevocably interconnected. All else is an illusion and a product of delusional thinking.

There are literally billions of individuals who know about Buddhism in general. There are fewer who know about the Four Noble Truths and the other elements mentioned above. Even fewer understand what it means to go through the motions of Buddhism, have been in a Buddhist Service, and participated in the rituals. And, there are a few who have clearly demonstrated the ability to access their own Buddha Nature, incorporate over time the elements of Buddhism into their heart-minds,fully understand that they have zero degrees of separation between the "self" all other beings, understand the nature of "no-self", and BECOME a Buddha in this lifetime and all other past and future lives. It is a beginningless and endless journey, and transcends the logical, limited mind. It requires years of study, insight, prajna (wisdom), faith in the process, and a relentless pursuit of moment at a time.

Such is the case of one individual in the White Sands Zen Center community. It is a great pleasure to announce that this coming Sunday, October 16, Dr. Morgan Arya Vinaya Lachney, will be ordained as Dharmacari, or Teacher of the Dharma. He received the Buddhist Precepts at the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple, took his Bodhisattva Vows, and has been in instrumental partner in the formation of the White

Sands Zen Center in Spring Lake, Michigan. He has take numerous courses from preeminent Buddhist Teachers such as Roshi Joan Halifax, Bernie Glassman, the Zen Peacekeepers Organization, and diligently worked, moment by moment to incorporate all aspects of Buddhism into his daily life, his pursuits, his interactions, and his relationships with all beings. He has demonstrated a deep understanding of his interconnectedness with all things and his understanding of the beginningless/endless nature of birth and death. His Dharma name, Arya Vinaya Su, means "Unadorned Virtuous Humility", for it is with those characteristics that he diligently pursues the Buddhist Path, knowing that it has no beginning and no ending. In other words, as a Dharma Teacher he has demonstrated that he has BECOME the Dharma and there is no separation.

Please join us this Sunday at On The Path Yoga Studio, 12:00 PM, to celebrate the ceremony of his Ordination as a Teacher of the Dharma.

May all be well, may all be safe, may all be at peace...

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