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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 »
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    The Proof is in the Practice Paid Member

    View the print version of this article in PDF format In recent months, proponents of “intelligent design” have enjoyed remarkable success in pitching to American school boards what amounts to nothing less than stealth creationism. By arguing that this essentially religious notion rises to the level of scientific theory, its adherents have created the false impression that scientists themselves are taking part in the debate. They aren't. The only real debate taking place is whether intelligent design should be taught in public schools; scientists, by and large, have long since dismissed the theory's empirical merit. More »
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    Evidence Of Things Not Seen Paid Member

    In childhood encounters with houses of worship, I never got past the front doors. Many Saturdays I waited outside a shul in Coney Island with my father and sister for my grandmother. She emerged in a crowd of old people in dark clothes and no one spoke English. Then we all went to the boardwalk, where my sister and I played Skeeball and ate hot dogs at Nathan's. Sunday mornings, I often waited impatiently outside Epiphany Church for the kids on my block in downtown Manhattan to reenter our common world of the street. More »
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    The Wisdom of No View Paid Member

    "The very belief that violence is unavoidable is a root cause of violence," Samdong Rinpoche, the newly elected leader of Tibet's Government-in-Exile, commented in a recent conversation with Tricycle. Far from advocating violence as a means of freeing Tibet of Chinese domination, the head of the Tibetan Cabinet-in-Exile—the Kalon Tripa, as he is known—argues that to build a legacy of violent resistance would only lay the groundwork for still more violence once the desired goal is achieved. Although he acknowledges that Tibet itself was never free of violent conflict during centuries of Buddhist rule, the Kalon Tripa remains optimistic. Turning for inspiration to Gandhi's practice of satyagraha, or nonviolent resistance, he carries with him in one hand the Dhammapada—the seminal Buddhist text—and in the other, the Hind swaraj, Gandhi's writings on Indian home rule. More »
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    What Color is Your Mind? Paid Member

    This issue's special section, Dharma, Diversity, and Race, suggests that little dialogue exists among Asian-American Buddhist communities, and between those communities and Americans new to Buddhism. Not coincidentally, in the very absence of dialogue lies the heart of the question: is the unfolding of Buddhism in this country evolving into something called "American Buddhism"; and if so, does the "American" part of that accurately represent the multicultural diversity of Buddhists in America, or is it simply another projection of the white majority? Multiculturalism in the United States exists in a context defined by two factors: actual white racism, and the idealized, constitutional promise of racial equality. This contradiction provides an axis around which America continually reinvents itself: witness, for example, a nation eager to know how "the race card" will be played in the O. J. Simpson trial. More »
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    Willy-Nilly Dharma Paid Member

    In Oliver Stone's new movie Heaven and Earth, Buddhism plays a major role in a Hollywood movie for the first time. (See interview with Oliver Stone in this issue.) Earlier, What's Love Got to Do with It offered a glimpse of Tina Turner's conversion to the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist sect, and Bernardo Bertolucci's film Little Buddha is now scheduled for release in April. Rumors of related film projects include plans for Martin Scorsese to direct the dramatic story of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. With all this high-finance film interest, both television and the printed news media have stepped up their coverage of things Buddhist—and with more sympathy than what long-time Buddha-watchers in this country have come to expect. More »