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    Dear Pope John Paul Paid Member

    YOUR HOLINESS, Convinced that a fully responsible stewardship of our planet requires that we control the increasingly rapid growth of our population, and that the knowledge and use of effective contraceptives is a proven means to that end, I deplore your opposition to these as both wrong and directly contrary to what would clearly benefit humanity at this time in our history. By contrast, the public position of most Buddhists strikes me as ethical. Buddhist monks in Southeast and East Asia have openly supported programs to implement the responsible control of human birth and held that the use of contraceptive devices was not immoral and ought, in fact, to be encouraged. A Thai study in the 1980s stated: More »
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    Spirit in Exile: Tibetan Nuns Paid Member

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    In the Land of the First Noble Truth Paid Member

    We had just opened our building in lower Manhattan when we saw smoke sliding out from under Rooster Vargas's door. My then supervisor, a sultry woman in her mid-twenties who did not know what she was getting into (and who soon became conveniently pregnant and left), pounded on Rooster's door. She got no response. She barged into his room with a fire extinguisher so shiny and immaculate it resembled a religious object. We found a chicken defrosting under a scalding shower. Rooster had gone shopping. More »
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    Riding Two Horses Paid Member

    For the past several decades, Westerners have generated new forms of Buddhism that reflect their own values and social contexts. A meditation hall where the cushions are arranged in an egalitarian circle—a nod to Native American council meetings—has a different feel from a classical Japanese zendo where the seating spells out the pecking order of the monastery. In the West, as many women as men are practicing today; this, and the increasing presence of women teachers, put another new face on Buddhism. More »
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    Stepping to a Different Drum Paid Member

    I noticed the afternoon was getting hotter as I unloaded my family from the car at the Subang Jaya Buddha Vihara in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “It's going to be great,” I convincingly reassured my two kids. “How often do you get to see someone ordain for real?” We had come to witness Chin Leag's pabbajja, or ordination as a novice monk. More »
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    Too Much Paid Member