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    At the Crossroad Paid Member

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    Many is More Paid Member

    Following the failed coup in Russia a cartoon in a New York newspaper featured two people standing in front of the Kremlin. One was saying to the other, "If you miss the one-party system, go to America." As the cartoon implies, new political alliances threaten to recast the United States as, at best, a beleaguered advocate of ideological plurality. Let's hope that American Buddhism doesn't follow the national political trend, especially since diversity is as central to Buddhist history as it has been to the history of the United States. More »
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    The Formless Field of Benefaction Paid Member

    There was a time when the Heart Sutra evoked associations with Asian monastic rituals, and not Florida hospitals; and when "the great matter of life and death," as the Zen tradition puts it, did not apply to the American abortion debate; and when running an AIDS hospice may have been considered too secular for Buddhist priests; and when Buddhist priests felt obliged to deny their sexuality, all the more so if it was homosexual. More »
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    Mountains' Walking Paid Member

    UNLIKE the media staples of sex, money, and power, the more we read about environmentalism, the less inclined we are to read more. And yet, there are the facts. Facts and more facts. One's genuine interest in the work of planetary healing could be killed off by facts alone. So pervasive is this dilemma that it questions the value of information itself. More »
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    Greener Grass Paid Member

    The movies Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet will introduce millions of Westerners to the cultural and religious heritage of Tibet, as well as to the Chinese takeover. Indeed, the hope of both screenwriters Melissa Mathison and Becky Johnston is that their movies will catalyze a grass-roots movement capable of influencing the Clinton administration's policy toward China—specifically, that country's systematic annihilation of its neighbor. In the flurry of commentary left in the wake of Chinese President Jiang Zemin's state visit, there is nothing to suggest progress on that front—yet. To my ears, the least compromised—and most courageous—voice heard in the nation's capital during Jiang's visit was Richard Gere's. More »
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    After Apathy Paid Member

    YOGEN SENZAKl (see "Ancestors"), the first Zen teacher to take up residence in America, taught Zen at a time when there was almost no interest in it. And the challenge of forging a compatible marriage between Asian Buddhism and the Western ideal of social responsibility—the subject of this issue's special section—was not even on the horizon. In his residential hotel rooms in Los Angeles, Senzaki had his American students sit zazen on chairs, for he considered cross-legged meditation a most un-American activity. He died in 1958, just as the currents of Beat Zen were riding the crest into the explosive sixties. More »