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    The Mantra & The Typist Paid Member

    When I was four, my parents acquired a black Royal typewriter with round shiny metal keys edged in chrome. The clicking keys, the flashing fingers, and in those days, the smacking sound of key against paper commanded all my attention. Words created with such potent sound and swift motion, I surmised, must have compelling power. Power for what, I could not yet know. More »
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    Aborigine in the Citadel Paid Member

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    Zen Catholic Paid Member

    I was born into a Catholic family and have never left the Catholicism of my birth. This is the starting point and the basis of my religious life: I was born a Catholic, I did not choose it or make myself into such a thing. As long as I don’t interfere with this inheritance, my Catholicism feels empty in the spiritual sense. Its connections to Zen Buddhism are primal, absolute, and have nothing to do with belief. I am not a Catholic because of what I believe or because of rules I follow. I used to think that way, and even today, when people hear what I have to say about the soul, so pagan and so tolerant of humanity, they ask dubiously: “Are you a practicing Catholic?” My guess is that they find it difficult to believe that I could think the way I do and still be a Catholic. More »
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    Awakening in the Bardo Paid Member

    The bardo - or the “in-between” - has come to describe the transitional state between death and rebirth, but its qualities also characterize the gap arising between any two states. In fact, we live in a continuous bardo, forever suspended between past and future, although we seldom recognize it. While the bardo may bring with it great uncertainty and discomfort, teachers and practitioners in the following essays guide us through the unique opportunity for awakening it offers.More »
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    Necessary Doubt Paid Member

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    Huck and Tom's Buddhist Adventure Paid Member

    I knowed I was in for a heap of sivilizing soon as I got back to St. Petersburg. But this time around it warn’t like no sivilizing I’d ever heard tell of before. First off, they had me go back and stay with the Widow Douglas, as she was all so lonesome ever since her sister, Miss Watson, passed away. Soon as I set foot in the house, though, I knowed something was up. She had that look in her eye that meant one of two things: either she was trying to pass a gallstone something fierce, or she had got religion of a sudden. Knowing her, I figured it was religion, so I laid low and minded my table manners good, so she wouldn’t take her religion out on me.More »