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    On Retreat in Burma Paid Member

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    Gelek Rinpoche, a lama trained in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, is the spiritual director of the Jewel Heart Tibetan Cultural Institute and Buddhist Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Identified as a lama by the age of five, he began his training in Central Tibet where he studied with a hermit teacher and later at Drepung Loseling Monastery, where he remained for fourteen years. In1959, amidst political unrest, Gelek Rinpoche, then twenty, escaped to� More »
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    Beloved Community Paid Member

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    Yasutani Roshi: The Hardest Koan Paid Member

    In Zen at War (Weatherhill, 1997), Brian Victoria examined how the Japanese Zen clergy interpreted Buddhist teachings in ways that made Zen dharma—and themselves—complicit with the Imperial Forces for the success of what was called "The Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere." More »
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    The Spice Of Life Paid Member

    So there i was, speeding down a winding country road on a glorious day last fall, running through yellow lights, completely stressed out, trying to get to the meditation hall on time. I was teaching daily yoga classes at a women’s meditation retreat at Spirit Rock, a Buddhist center in a rural valley north of San Francisco. But my beloved babysitter, Megan—a twenty-something Zen student with beads and small electronic parts woven into her turquoise-and-blonde dreadlocks—had gotten caught in a traffic jam and arrived at my house an hour late, and then I had gotten stuck in the same freeway snarl myself. As I barreled along, I kept imagining a cop pulling me over: “But officer, it’s a dharma emergency!” I burned rubber into the Spirit Rock parking lot, walked to the meditation hall as fast as possible while still appearing mindful and serene, and got there with seconds to spare, just as the bell was ringing to end the last sitting period. More »
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    Nirvana: Three Takes Paid Member

    In the centuries following the Buddha’s death, dharma teachings spread from India into the rest of Asia, evolving eventually into the three yanas, or vehicles for the teachings—Theravada, Vajrayana, and Mahayana, the predominant traditions of Southeast Asia, Tibet, and East Asia, respectively. The doctrinal distinctions that arose have caused fundamental aspects of what the Buddha taught to be disputed. Even the teachings on such essential matters as karma, enlightenment, and rebirth vary in the three yanas, and from school to school within the yanas—now more so than ever with Western epistemologies stirred into the doctrinal diaspora. More »