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    Thirteen Hours Paid Member

    Like a mist curtaining from the surface of a black deep pond, I rise up into voices, slabs of hard sound, scrapes of metal, thuds, and clinks. I realize I lie on my side. And just across from me, on another wheeled table (we are like two reclining figures on a tomb) in this huge brightness that allows us no modest hiding of blemish or sag, there looking back at me is a man whose skin gathers the light at his naked leg. He is trying to pull himself to a sitting position, elbows jabbing air, the hospital gown falling back from his wrinkled thigh. No one comes to help us, we’re utterly alone with each other here in the bowels of Highland Hospital, the long crowded corridor and warren of rooms that is Emergency. This is the classic county hospital - last resort for those without insurance or money - crowded, understaffed, and noisy. More »
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    The Psychology of Awakening Paid Member

    When I first encountered Zen in the 1960s, I found myself particularly drawn to the mysterious satori—that moment of seeing into one’s own true nature, when all the old blinders were said to fall away. In such a moment, I imagined, one became an entirely new person, never to be the same again. I found the prospect of this kind of ultimate realization compelling enough to turn my life in that direction. More »
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    In On The Laugh Paid Member

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    Rucksack Poetry Paid Member

    The old pond a frog jumps in— kerplunk!Matsuo Basho’s haiku about the frog and the old pond has become so deeply scored in the popular imagination that it seems to have distilled into pure image. The seventeenth-century poet Basho, dressed in mud-spattered robes, wandering rugged mountain landscapes, or sequestered in a tiny hut in the rain on the outskirts of town, has become almost as vivid a figure of international folklore as of poetry. It was under his influence that haiku’s reputation emerged as a poetry humble in subject, unfriendly to pretension, and devoted to Buddhist-inspired insights into the natural world—and the sphere of human nature. More »
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    Roundtable: Through Good Times and Bad Paid Member

    Over thirty years ago, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield returned from South Asia to American shores bringing the ancient Buddhist meditation technique that was to become one of the most popular contemplative practices in the country. The first Western students of some of the most renowned Theravada teachers of their lifetime—Munindra-ji, Dipa Ma, Ajaan Chah, and others—Salzberg, Goldstein, and Kornfield separately, but almost simultaneously, learned the meditative practices of Vipassana, often translated as “insight meditation” or colloquially as “mindfulness practice.” Returning to America, they met in 1974 at the first session of Naropa Institute, catching the great wave of interest of a generation hungry for spiritual guidance. Although there were many who wanted to practice, institutions to support this rigorous mind-training practice, with its emphasis on residential retreats, were nonexistent. More »
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    The Great Indoors Paid Member

    For the past twenty-five years, Jeff Greenwald has wandered the globe, filing dispatches from territories as varied as Iran, Mali, Japan, Italy, Nepal, and the furthest reaches of cyberspace. Last summer, Tricycle assigned him to report on a different sort of journey: his first ten-day Vipassana retreat.More »