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Living and practicing harmoniously with others is essential to Buddhist teachings
  • Making the First Move Paid Member

    Saddled with backpacks, duffle bags, and pillows, the teens shuffle up to the table one by one to register for their weeklong meditation retreat. Their eyes flicker with hope and fear as they alternately scan their peers and stare at the floor, shifting their weight from side to side. It is hard to watch their discomfort, but even harder not to. There's something beautiful about the sincerity of their wish to connect with each other and something heartbreaking about their transparent efforts to conceal that wish. More »
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    Envidia Paid Member

    They had warned me about the bedsheets. More »
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    Middle Way Manager Paid Member

    At night I lie in bed, unable to sleep. Worst-case scenarios run through my head—and then I remember that they’re not worst-case scenarios at all. I’m living them. My teacher died, our community has torn itself apart in his absence, and I’m 42, single, and still not totally sure what I want to do with my life. More »
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    "Like Roaring Earth" Paid Member

    I was in Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is one of the popular tourist attractions in Nepal. I had brought guests of mine from China to show them around. I have been traveling a lot recently, so I hear the roar of jet engines frequently. That’s exactly what it sounded like in the first few seconds of the earthquake: a roar, and all of the birds flew into the air at once. I thought, “Oh, there must be something flying next to us.” And then everything started to shake, and I knew it wasn’t that. More »
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    After the Future Paid Member

    A commonplace of Buddhist history holds that wherever the dharma goes—from Mongolia to Thailand, from Afghanistan to Vietnam—it adapts to the local scene in a spirit of accommodation. But there is another way to explain the dharma’s ability to take root in very different societies. At crucial turning points, Buddhism has arrived in the nick of time to save its hosts from cultural paralysis. A good example comes from the Tang dynasty, where for centuries Buddhism was confined to urban enclaves. Then a catastrophe, the An Lushan rebellion, forced many ordinary Chinese to rethink their fundamental values. Crisis alone, it’s important to see, wasn’t enough to generate the necessary change; the Chinese had to use new tools supplied from outside the cultural mainstream—that is, by the dharma. More »
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    Capitalism vs. the Climate Paid Member

    Everything changes. As Buddhists, we know this. But perhaps too often we’re content to let things be. In her latest book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, the Canadian journalist and social activist Naomi Klein makes a compelling case for all of us—Buddhists and otherwise—to join arms and demand the changes we need to make before we reach the point of no return. For Klein, climate change is a symptom of an even bigger problem: global capitalism. Thus, healing the earth, she says, will also mean healing the wounds of slavery and colonialism to create a more racially and economically just world. More »