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    Yoga for Meditators Paid Member

    Buddhist practitioner and yoga teacher Cyndi Lee offers a five-minute yoga regimen to enhance meditation practice. Who can say which comes first - a balanced body or a spacious mind? Science acknowledges that consciousness is not limited to the brain but is everywhere in the body. So the path to both steadiness and ease is consciously to unite body and mind. At the same time that yoga practice cultivates the physical stamina for meditation - that’s where we get the steadiness - the practice of meditative awareness brings about ease of mind and heart. More »
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    Under The Lens: An American Zen Community In Crisis Paid Member

    Twenty years ago this winter, a few weeks short of my twenty-first birthday, my college boyfriend and I sat in a guest apartment at the Zen Center of Los Angeles and listened to a weeping American Zen Buddhist nun warn us that we were on the verge of single-handedly destroying Buddhism in the West. “The dharma is very young here. It’s fragile, like a new green shoot,” she said, tears splashing into her black-robed lap. “If… More »
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    Breathing with Yasutani Roshi Paid Member

    There are many good methods of concentration bequeathed to us by our predecessors in Zen. The easiest for beginners is counting incoming and outgoing breaths. The value of this particular exercise lies in the fact that all reasoning is excluded and the discriminative mind put at rest. Thus the waves of thought are stilled and a gradual one-pointedness of mind achieved. To start with, count both inhalations and exhalations. When you inhale concentrate on “one”;� More »
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    The Freelance Monotheist Paid Member

    An Interview With Karen ArmstrongKaren Armstrong is one of the most renowned religion scholars in the world today. Recognized for the lucidity of her prose and her extraordinary breadth of knowledge, she is the author of more than a dozen books, among them the acclaimed bestsellers A History of God, Islam, and Buddha. Born near Birmingham, England, in 1945, Armstrong was raised Roman Catholic, and entered a convent in her teens. After seven years, she left in personal crisis, feeling that she had failed her faith and that her faith had failed her. She embarked on an academic career, but her hopes were dashed when her dissertation was rejected. She took a position at a girl’s school, from which, after six years, she was “politely” asked to leave. Around this time she found out she had epilepsy. “My early life,” she has written, “was a complete catastrophe.”   More »
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    On The Cushion: Q & A with Michael Wenger Paid Member

    When comparing yourself with others, do you usually find that you compare favorably or unfavorably? If you compare favorably, do you feel proud? If you compare unfavorably, do you feel devastated? Either of these reactions will keep you from seeing things as they are. If you are feeling competitive, the real question is, Who is it who compares? Don’t repress this feeling or tell yourself how bad it is, but study it as a foolish trait for which you have some affection. � More »
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    Mindful to the Quarter-inch Paid Member

    MID-AFTERNOON, twenty-four hours into a three-day vipassana retreat, I entered the teacher's cottage for my interview. Although I had attended many meditation retreats with lay teachers, this was my first interview with an Asian monk. Hesitant, bowing, unsure of etiquette, I walked in, sat on the floor, and waited for him to speak.… More »