Broken Gold

Three dharma practitioners share their stories of healing after a spiritual crisis.Edited by Noelle Oxenhandler

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“I’ve got to tell you about the dream I had last night,” a friend told me. Seven years had passed since her Zen community had come apart in an emotionally turbulent way, and she was still struggling to absorb the experience. In her dreams she often found herself back with her teacher and sangha—yet something felt distinctly different to her about this particular dream: “I walked into the little interview room with the roshi, as I had so many times in the past. I felt disoriented, because I knew that so much had happened and he wasn’t my teacher anymore. Then I looked directly into his eyes and I heard my own voice say, ‘It’s not about the story line. It’s the practice.’”

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