The earliest known dated print book in the world is the Chinese-language version of the “Diamond Sutra,” a seminal Mahayana Buddhist text pointing its readers to the Middle Way. Translated from the Sanskrit in the early fifth century CE, the “Diamond Sutra” appeared as the woodblock print pictured above on the “15th of the 4th moon of the 9th year of Xiantong,” according to the colophon (that’s May 11, 868 CE, for the rest of us).
We are so lucky, and honored, to be able to continue this long tradition of presenting the dharma in print—lucky to have dedicated readers, to have good relationships with teachers and writers, lucky to have found the dharma at all. We really don’t have to do much with the material that comes in over our transom but put it between two covers and send it out to our subscribers— that’s how strong it is. As the teachings tell us, the dharma is like bread—always fresh.
Yet, as we enter our third decade in print, we’ve decided to freshen up our presentation. So, with the help of art director Andrea Fella, we’ve re-envisioned the front pages: “Insights” has morphed into “This Life,” which brings us a bit of humor in the form of “Unicycle” and “Dear Abbey Dharma”; some mention of what’s happening in the world both environmentally and in terms of good deeds, by way of news bits and an environmental almanac; and a regular column by Rick Bass about his two- and four-legged friends, which reminds us, because we all need reminding, about our own precious human birth. May this benefit your practice and ours!
—James Shaheen, Editor and Publisher