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    The Formless Form Paid Member

    I was a Buddhist before I got sober. I entered Buddhist practice at San Francisco Zen Center's Green Gulch Farm in an effort to get control of my life which was rapidly fragmenting as I plummeted through the last phases of my struggle with alcohol. If I got up earlier, if I did more meditations, if I studied harder, if I went to more retreats, if I lived inside the Green Gulch monastery instead of outside in the community, if, if, if . . . then everything would be all right. More »
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    Under The Lens: An American Zen Community In Crisis Paid Member

    Twenty years ago this winter, a few weeks short of my twenty-first birthday, my college boyfriend and I sat in a guest apartment at the Zen Center of Los Angeles and listened to a weeping American Zen Buddhist nun warn us that we were on the verge of single-handedly destroying Buddhism in the West. “The dharma is very young here. It’s fragile, like a new green shoot,” she said, tears splashing into her black-robed lap. “If you tell the world what is going on here at the Zen center, you could wreck the flowering of twenty-five hundred years of Buddhist practice.” More »
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    Dust of Snow: Awakening to Conversation Paid Member

    We were walking in the winter woods with the tracker Sue Morse. Our eyes were fixed on the ground as we searched for more of the bobcat prints we had just traced around the base of a cliff. When Sue called to us, we figured she must have picked up the trail. But instead, when our small group had gathered around her, she pulled back the bough of an overhanging hemlock and released it over our heads like a plucked bowstring. We looked up, startled, as the snow that had been packed on the branch swirled around our warm cheeks and spangled against the sky. As we stood there, transfixed, she recited Robert Frost’s short poem “Dust of Snow”: The way a crow Shook down on meThe dust of snow From a hemlock tree More »
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    A New Place, A New Time Paid Member

    Tricycle: When your father died in 1987 there were two wings of his community: the Vajradhatu—or Buddhist path, and the Shambhala Training path. What is the difference between Shambhala Training and Buddhism, and why did you bring them together? More »
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    Projecting Tibet Paid Member

    Mathison: We are now fifteen minutes into the movie. People have watched this boy and they need to hear the words, “This is the Dalai Lama.” So I used the scene in the tent with all the grandeur for the announcement. One other point is that in order to obtain emotional continuity between the person who’s playing the Dalai Lama and the audience, we stay with the Dalai Lama. We never go away to the auspicious assembly for the events but we stay always with the Dalai Lama, with the boy. So, even if this is not the first announcement or the most dramatic announcement, we’ve overdramatized the moment. And your parents will hear the announcement at the same time as the audience. More »
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    Between the Image and the Reality Paid Member

    Orville Schell: How do you explain the rash of Hollywood films that will soon be out on Tibetan subjects? Becky Johnston: Well, it’s not hard to understand why Hollywood likes this subject, is it? After all, it’s epic and huge in scope, but kinder and gentler in message than your average story. Schell: What’s your own personal interest in Tibet? More »