Shambhala

  • Wreck & Order: A Buddhist Writer’s Fierce Debut Novel Paid Member

    On her 28th birthday, with a newly minted MFA in nonfiction from Bennington College, Hannah Tennant-Moore set off on a two-month backpacking journey in Sri Lanka to spend some time exploring her interest in Buddhism before launching her writing career. The reflections from that journey set the stage for her daring debut novel Wreck and Order (Hogarth, Feb. 9), an unconventional coming-of-age tale in which the reader follows a damaged woman named Elsie on a decade-plus quest for meaning that takes her from small-town California to New York City, Paris, and Sri Lanka. More »
  • Death as a Spiritual Experience Paid Member

    Over the last couple of years, I’ve interviewed many doctors and spiritual teachers about death and dying. I typically ask the doctors questions about medicine and the healthcare system, while saving questions about meaning and purpose for the spiritual teachers. I had to throw that framework out the window with Dr. Mitchell Levy, who is both. Levy has been practicing medicine for 25 years and meditating for more than 40 years. He is currently chief of the pulmonary and critical care divison at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School and a senior teacher in the Shambhala lineage. Do you think that death can be a spiritual experience? More »
  • Cool Boredom Paid Member

    In everyday life, we habitually try to conceal the gaps in our experience of mind and body. These gaps are a bit like an awkward silence around the table at a dinner party. A good host is supposed to keep the conversation going with his or her guests to put them at ease. You might talk about the weather, the latest books you've read, or what you are serving for dinner. We treat ourselves similarly. We occupy ourselves with subconscious chatter because we are uncomfortable with any gaps in our conversation with ourselves. More »
  • 5 Reasons I Haven't Settled on a Buddhist School Paid Member

    What do you look for in a Buddhist tradition? What draws you in and makes you feel like one specific approach is your home? A charismatic teacher? Pragmatic meditation techniques? Elaborate rituals? Fancy man-dresses and sparkly beads? The opportunity to kung fu your enemies? Want to know what I look for? Probably not, but here goes.            I look for perfection. Utter, complete, sublime perfection. For the past 16 years or so I’ve been on an elaborate, grueling search for Buddhism’s immaculate vehicle, the tradition or lineage that will slingshot me to enlightenment without ruffling any of my admittedly messy feathers, the one that suits me to a T. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right. More »
  • How to Fail Paid Member

    If there is one skill that is not stressed very much, but is really needed, it is knowing how to fail. There is a Samuel Beckett quote that goes “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” That quote is what will help you more than anything else in the next year, the next ten years, the next twenty years, for as long as you live, until you drop dead. There is a lot of emphasis on succeeding. We all want to succeed, especially if we consider success to be things working out the way we want them to. Failing is what we don't usually get a lot of preparation for. So how to fail? More »
  • Running with the Sakyong Paid Member

    Last week, the New Yorker caught up with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, leader of Shambhala International, to speak about human integrity, mindfulness, and the benefits of jogging. "When you're running," says Rinpoche, "there's a real sense of bringing your mind into your body and relating to what's happening." It's time to speed up that walking meditation, we guess. More »