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    Freedom: Guns or Dharma Paid Member

    I had already made up my mind to return to Nepal after leaving Cornell when I picked up a copy of Time magazine and read the story about Fred Hampton’s tragic death. As they slept in an apartment at 2337 W. Monroe Street in Chicago he and one of his comrades had been shot to death. The pictures of the room showed blood-splattered walls and bodies lying in disarray. I had personally met Fred Hampton…I had already made up my mind to return to Nepal after leaving Cornell when I picked up a copy of Time magazine and read the story about Fred Hampton’s tragic death. As they slept in an apartment at 2337 W. Monroe Street in Chicago he and one of his comrades had been shot to death. The pictures of the room showed blood-splattered walls and bodies lying in disarray. More »
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    Lessons of History Paid Member

    Nearly thirty years have passed since I first became involved in Buddhism. I was nineteen at the time, dizzy with the optimism of the 1960s and the thrill of having traveled overland from England to India. The Tibetans had been in exile from their homeland for just over a decade. The Dalai Lama was only thirty-seven years old and had yet to visit the West. I remember walking up the mist-drenched hills above Dharamsala into the hushed village where the Dalai Lama and his followers had settled. My traveling companions and I visited and lived in impoverished Tibetan refugee communities. We were enthralled by the exploration of a virtually uncharted terrain under the guidance of extraordinary teachers who had literally stepped out of an ancient Buddhist civilization into the modern world. More »
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    No Justice, No Peace Paid Member

    The gift of justice surpasses all gifts.—Dhammapada 354 To pass judgment hurriedlydoesn’t mean you’re a judge.The wise one who weighsthe right judgment and wrong,the intelligent one who judges others impartially,unhurriedly, in line with the Dhamma,guarding the Dhamma,guarded by the Dhamma,he’s called a judge.- Dhammapada 256-257  More »
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    Politics and Prayer Paid Member

    Levine: How did you come to be in a Zen meditation center? Brown: I was visiting Japan some years ago, and I went over to Sophia, the Jesuit university in Tokyo. Through the Jesuits I contacted Koun Yamada Roshi. He was an administrator of a medical clinic, and he invited me to come and practice with him. He had a zendo next to his house and was the roshi for a lay community there. I then came back in the fall of 1986, and I stayed there until March of 1987. Levine: What had led you in this direction? More »
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    Clearing Clutter Paid Member

    In 1968, a couple of months into first grade at St. Mary’s Elementary School in Ayer, Massachusetts, I notice that my desk is looking kind of funky. From where I sit, I can peer into the desk of the little girl in the next row: mainly empty, with a neat stack of construction paper, a pair of blunt scissors, a box of crayons, and a few pencils lined up in a groove. Mine, on the other hand, is overflowing with crumpled, crisscrossed papers—spelling tests, math worksheets, stick-figure drawings, a turkey made from a toilet-paper roll, a laboriously copied excerpt from A. A. Milne, with every p backward: “Christopher Robin went hoppity, hoppity, hoppity, hoppity hop...” When I reach inside to scrabble around for a crayon, my hand lands in a puddle of Elmer’s glue. More »