Community

Living and practicing harmoniously with others is essential to Buddhist teachings
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    Creating Sangha Paid Member

    Few would disagree that monasticism, with its vows and disciplines, provides the time and freedom to reflect on the dharma and a conducive framework for cultivation of concentration and insight. For this reason, since the time of the Buddha, the survival of the dharma has been seen as dependent upon the survival of a monastic community. ln most Asian countries, the very term "sangha" (community) excludes the laity and has come to refer to the monastic com­munity alone. While a sympathetic laity is required to support the monks and nuns, the laypeople's limited opportunity for realizing the scholarly and contemplative goals of Buddhist practice has led to their assuming an inferior status to monastics. More »
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    Coming Home Paid Member

    Jesse has been blinded by shrapnel. Paul cannot swallow properly or digest his food. Claudia doesn’t remember giving birth to her daughter. Although they’re no longer in Iraq, the war is still with them. More »
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    In The News Paid Member

    TIBET OR NOT TIBETAt the U.N.'s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing this past September and the parallel Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) Forum in the suburb of Huairou several issues had delegates and Chinese officials toe to toe. Not the least of these was the issue of Tibetan sovereignty. On September 1, as the rain fell over dozens of supporters, nine Tibetan women held a silent protest. With scarves tied over their mouths, they stood holding hands for…At the U.N.'s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing this past September and the parallel Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) Forum in the suburb of Huairou several issues had delegates and Chinese officials toe to toe. Not the least of these was the issue of Tibetan sovereignty. More »
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    Life or Death Paid Member

    The one thing I have never fully understood about many Buddhists is why they devote so much attention to the individual roots of greed, hatred, and ignorance, yet so little attention to the manifestations of these poisons in social institutions. Is it simply understood that the real work needs to be done on our individual failings, with social greed, hatred, and ignorance being someone else’s problem? Or is it that Buddhists, like so many people, have been deceived into believing that political issues are “none of their business”? Have they been trained to see problems and solutions solely in personal rather than political terms? More »
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    Letters to the Editor Paid Member

    Skillful ScenesDo Buddhists believe in God? It seems that they do! I read in your recent report on religious leaders’ opposition to the patenting of animals [“In the News,” Fall 1995], that four well known Buddhist leaders: Robert Aitken Roshi, Jack Kornfield, Tenshin Reb Anderson and Stephanie Kaza had signed a statement: “We believe that humans and animals are creations of God, not humans, and as such should not be patented as human inventions.” Clearly we have to wonder if they really did sign the document or, if they did, were they in some way tricked into endorsing a statement which so obviously goes against basic Buddhist teachings? At meetings of “religious leaders” one frequently finds that seemingly knowledgeable and kindly Christian and Jewish participants insist, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that Buddhists too, in their own way, believe in the same God, creator of the universe. More »
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    Clouds & Water Paid Member

    IT HAS BEEN SAID that without monasticism there is no Buddhism. When the first sangha—group of followers—began to grow around the Buddha there was, of course, no distinctly “Buddhist” form of monastic practice. The monasticism that the Buddha developed took into account the needs of his disciples as well as the realities of his culture and society. This responsiveness to the imperative of time, place, and people is still the defining characteristic of Buddhist monasticism. More »