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Tuesday
Nov122013

Back from the Brink

Jim Willems’ chronic pain and illness had become so bad he decided to take his own life. But the dharma kept him going through the darkest moments and helped him feel whole again.

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Tuesday
Nov122013

Forum: The Beauty of Renunciation

Renunciation is about more than just doing without things. It’s the beautiful realization that you already have everything you need.

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Tuesday
Nov122013

Commentary: I May Not Stay Here With You

By the time this article reaches you, I will have been empowered as an independent teacher in the Zen tradition through a ceremony and process called dharma transmission. While Zen has flourished in the West long enough to bear witness to the passing of pioneering teachers who have, in turn, seeded a substantial network of second- and third-generation teachers in America, my own rite of passage remains noteworthy for dubious reasons. As the second African-American woman—and only the third black person in America-ever to receive this empowerment in Soto Zen Buddhism, I am acutely aware of the conflicting viewpoints with which I hold it.

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Tuesday
Nov122013

Ask The Teachers

Zenkei Blanche Hartman, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, and Narayan Helen Liebenson

Q: I’ve been meditating every day for years, and now if I skip a day, I notice that I start to feel crazy and inhuman. It’s hard to believe that I spent so much of my life in this state before I took up my practice. Is it possible that meditation can become addictive, with withdrawal symptoms that make life harder than it would be for someone who doesn’t meditate at all?

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Tuesday
Nov122013

Let's Talk: Is My Sangha Inclusive?

When reverend Kiyonobu Joshin Kuwahara asked himself that question, he wasn’t sure of the answer. So he decided to find out.

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Tuesday
Nov122013

Reviews: Investigating the Subtle Body

Religion and the Subtle Body in Asia and the West
edited by Geoffrey Samuel and Jay Johnston

Routledge, 2013, 282 pages; $155

Training the Wisdom Body: Buddhist Yogic Exercise
by Rose Taylor Goldfield

Shambhala Publications, 2013, 192 pages; $16.95

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Tuesday
Nov122013

Book Briefs

  • Like Cats and Dogs by Steven Heine
  • Padmakara Translation Group’s Treasury of Precious Qualities, Book Two: Vajrayana and the Great Perfection by Jigme Lingpa
  • Kakurenbo: Or the Whereabouts of Zen Priest Ryokan by Soto Zen teacher Eido Frances Carney
  • The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle by André Bareau, translated by Sara Boin-Webb
  • Three Steps to Awakening by Larry Rosenberg
  • Great Treatise on the Stages of Mantra by Tsongkhapa, translated by Thomas Freeman Yarnall
  • Record of Miraculous Events in Japan by Burton Watson
  • What the Buddha Never Taught by Tim Ward
  • The Easy Path edited by Lorne Ladner

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Tuesday
Nov122013

Profile: Sanshin Zen Community

The last thing he wanted to do was speak English.

Shohaku Okumura had studied Buddhism and the thirteenth-century writings of Eihei Dogen at Tokyo’s Komazawa University, then taken priest’s vows and entered training at Antaiji, a Soto Zen temple in Kyoto headed by his late teacher, Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. But because many Americans and Europeans were studying there, Uchiyama urged him to study English. When Uchiyama retired in 1975, he asked Okumura and two brother monks to move to the hills of western Massachusetts to help build a new Zen center.

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Tuesday
Nov122013

Journeys: What About My Retreat?

Illustration by Kim Scafuro

When my teacher, Karma Yeshe Wangpo, told me that he would be happy to teach a weekend retreat if I organized it, I was thrilled. At this point in my life, I had been medi- tating for just over two years. I would finally be attending my first retreat.

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Tuesday
Aug202013

What Do You See?

Ever notice how quickly you form opinions and judgments about the world around you? Next time stop and take a closer look, suggests Geoffrey Shugen Arnold. You’ll find a very different picture emerges.

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