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Living and practicing harmoniously with others is essential to Buddhist teachings
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    The Island Paid Member

    BEFORE AUGUST 29, 2005, New Orleans was humming along like any other major, if dysfunctional, American city. If your refrigerator stopped working, for example, you could open the Yellow Pages and choose from a dozen names. After a few rings, a New Orleans accent would answer and a repairman would be dispatched. A few hours later a white van would pull up and you’d hear the guy on his cell phone, cursing the traffic over the bridge. That’s how it used to go. That’s how society worked. It was like the refrigerator’s hum—difficult to detect until it stops. But in the weeks and months after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, returning evacuees experienced the astonishing silence of a society stopped all at once. 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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    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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    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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    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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    Buddhism(s)? Paid Member

    EVERYBODY KNOWS there is really no such thing as Hinduism. The name is derived from an ancient word for sea, sindhu, used also for the Indus River. Persians living to the west of the Indus modified it to hind, and used it to refer to the land of the Indus valley. Eventually, Muslims used hindu to refer to the native peoples of South Asia. It was not a term that "Hindus," however, used to refer to themselves. In the nineteenth century, officers of the British Raj began to use the word Hinduism, especially for purposes of their census, to refer to a purported system of religious beliefs and practices of non-Muslim, non-Jain, non-Sikh, non-Christian, non-Parsi, non-Jewish Indians (Buddhism had disappeared from India centuries before). More »