give & take

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    Soul Survivor Paid Member

    Aras Baskauskas saunters into Real Food Daily restaurant in Santa Monica carrying a giant bowl of strawberries and smiling. Tanned with a scruffy beard, piercing brown eyes, and gentle hands, he’s wearing board shorts and a faded Jackson Hole T-shirt. When the waiter approaches, Aras doesn’t lift the menu. “I know what I want,” he says: a pot of chamomile tea. In May the twenty-four-year-old yoga instructor won $1 million on CBS’s hit reality television show Survivor: Panama—Exile Island. Before spending thirty-nine days sparking fires and tapping coconuts, Aras received his M.B.A., played Division One basketball, and opened a donation-based yoga studio in South Africa. His asana practice eventually led him to Buddhism. When someone approached him to be on Survivor, Aras agreed, thinking it sounded like a “heck of an adventure.” —Caitlin Van Dusen More »
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    Zen Basics Paid Member

    Harada Sekkei Roshi is a teacher in the Soto Zen tradition and abbot of Hosshinji monastery, in Fukui Prefecture, Japan. This past May, his student Keiko Kando spoke with him about the meaning and function of Zen. Harada Roshi’s book of dharma talks, The Essence of Zen, is to be reprinted by Wisdom Publications next February. This interview was translated from the Japanese by Heiko Narrog. More »
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    Trust Through Reason Paid Member

    Born in Nepal in 1975, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is the youngest son of the eminent meditation master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and received the same kind of rigorous training associated with previous generations of Tibetan adepts. In his new book, The Joy of Living (Harmony Books), Mingyur Rinpoche recounts how he used meditation to outgrow a childhood beset by fears and extreme panic attacks. From a very young age, he also displayed a keen interest in science; he has pursued this curiosity and how it relates to Buddhist teachings on the nature of mind through countless conversations with neurologists, physicists, and psychologists. In 2002, he participated in experiments at the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior in Wisconsin, to investigate whether long-term meditation practice enhances the brain's capacity for positive emotions. More »