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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 »
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    Who's in Charge Here Anyway? Paid Member

         Wouldn’t it be comforting to have a pope: unimpeachable, indefatigable, infallibly in charge of whatever we are supposed to do and think, a father to our childish selves to guide us on the path to god? More »
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    Out of the Killing Fields Paid Member

    The gray frame house on Marion Avenue in the East Bronx stands sandwiched in between two nearly identical white-and-yellow frame houses. A perfectly assimilated structure but for the bright, multistriped Cambodian Buddhist flag out front. The Jotanaram Temple has been a peculiar part of this solidly Hispanic neighborhood since 1985. Once, many years ago, in its Jewish incarnation, this neighborhood was my neighborhood. The five- and six-story brick buildings that rub endlessly against one another, inflicting heinous boredom on me as a child, are still there. The Valentine Theatre, in which I saw Satyajit Ray’s The World of Apu, has gone. I find it has been replaced by Fino Men’s Wear. More »
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    My Brief Career Composing Spanish Music Paid Member

    I don’t think I have the power of mind to seek after the self or anything else in meditation. I am a very poor practitioner; I have my hands full just relaxing. At my best, I can only sit there completely relaxed and notice acutely. More »
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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 »