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    A Sense of Belonging Paid Member

    By my late twenties I’d been a Buddhist monk for five years and was blissfully ensconced in the security of a thousand-year-old tradition when I went to live in Sera Monastic University, in South India. The time I spent there in the late 1970s was a life-changing, formative period—though in none of the ways I had expected. It brought me to a painful turning point that led me to give up my robes, cut all ties, and wander off alone. More »
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    Remove The Seeker, Remove The Sought Paid Member

    In the early eighties, after more than ten years of intensive Zen practice, I hit a wall. The traditional rituals and forms, which had once seemed so comfortable and familiar to me, now felt constricting, like a tight, narrow box that stifled my life energy and dried out my sitting practice. I had been lured to Zen by the freedom and spontaneity of the great masters I had read about in books, but my practice seemed to be making me more uptight and self-conscious. The more I tried to push past the obstacles, as my teacher instructed me to do, the more arid and lifeless my meditation became. More »
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    Warrior Mind Paid Member

    TWENTY YEARS AGO, I didn't worry about my physical safety. I hitchhiked, camped out, walked alone at night, with a young person's imprudence. This unconcern gave way inexorably, first to a growing caution, and then to genuine anxiety and fear. In the last few years I felt myself to be in a strange state of paralysis. My fear of physical harm, of being a victim of violence, had come to affect my behavior many times a day, limiting where I went and at what times. I felt, like most women, resigned. I was always, however unconsciously, imagining and preparing for the assault any newspaper told me to expect. I resented this feeling, which seemed to have such gravity, pulling me down, forcing me to see the world through narrowed eyes, but I also felt helpless to change it. More »
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    Awakening with Prozac Paid Member

    DESPITE TEN YEARS of dharma practice and five years of psychotherapy, Leslie was still miserable. To those who knew her casually, she did not seem depressed, but with her close friends and lovers she was impossibly demanding. Subject to brooding rages when she felt the least bit slighted, Leslie had alienated most of the people in her life who had wanted to be close to her. Unable to control her frustration when sensing a rejection, she would withdraw in anger, eat herself sick, and take to her bed. When her therapist recommended that she take the antidepressant Prozac she was insulted, feeling that such an action would violate her Buddhist precepts. More »
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    Putting Spot Down Paid Member

    It is a heartbreaking decision, one nearly every pet owner must make at some time. Cindy’s dog, Otis, was suffering a losing battle with cancer. Cindy agonized: should she euthanize? Turning to a Buddhist listserve for advice, she posted the following: Last May, when my dog Otis manifested symptoms of distress and trauma, an ultrasound revealed a large mass in the area of his right adrenal gland. Several veterinary experts agreed that surgery would be tremendously risky, and if he lived through it, there was no promise of any benefit. They gave him three to four months to live. We didn’t choose to do surgery.More »
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    Working in the Cracks Paid Member

    Born in Brooklyn to an immigrant Jewish family, Bernie Glassman began his Zen studies with Taizan Maezumi Roshi in 1967 while pursuing a career in the aerospace industry. After receiving dharma transmission, Glassman established the Zen Community of New York in 1980 and later the Greyston Mandala in Yonkers, New York, which provides social services to local residents. Glassman and his wife, Roshi Sandra Jishu Holmes (1941-1998), co-founded the Zen Peacemaker Order in 1996, and later the Peacemaker Community, an international, interfaith network integrating spirituality with peacemaking. Glassman is noted for organizing “plunges” such as retreats that immerse participants into the street life of the homeless, and the annual bearing witness retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau. In 2000, he disrobed as a priest to put emphasis on Zen lay practice. More »