good work

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    Performing with the Buddha Paid Member

    Last May, former Marine Daniel Goolsby, 61, lost his job and fell into a deep depression. His savings gone, he was three months behind on his rent—and fed up with psychiatrists who wanted to “fix” his depression with heavy medication. Goolsby dragged himself, a downtrodden man, to St. Patrick Center in St. Louis, Missouri, hoping that its staff could help him find a job and turn his luck around. He never dreamed that within just a few months, an innovative combination of art, theater, and Buddhism would completely transform his life. More »
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    Art As A Weapon Paid Member

     Last year street artist Shepard Fairey spent several days painting a three-story-high mural of a Burmese monk on the side of a building in downtown San Diego, and Breadtruck Films’ Jeffrey Durkin was there to film the entire process. Durkin, who works out of a converted Wonder Bread truck—now a mobile film studio, and the company’s namesake— was deeply moved by Fairey’s artwork. It occurred to him that the mural was more than just street art. “There was a religious Buddhist element, there was a Burmese political element, and then there was the art, all coming together in this one image.” More »
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    Attention to Death Paid Member

    So many deaths I have been a part of, so many patients, families, caregivers, and volunteers have touched my life. Together we’ve created a kind of peaceful revolution whose battle cry is as quiet and profound as two strangers holding hands before death. We’ve gone to the edge of our fear of death, of our curiosity, of our longing to befriend it and have it teach us. We have discovered that dying is deeply disturbing, painful, sad; and that it is the mysterious source of all radiance. —Martha deBarros, co-founder of Zen Hospice Project More »
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    Healed People Heal People Paid Member

    Rusty Trunzo was in prison for over thirty years for committing murder. When he completed his sentence three years ago, he left prison as a radically different man. “The first nine years in there, it was all about staying numb,” Trunzo said. “Using [drugs], you know, and really not getting involved in much of anything.” But all that changed when Trunzo was transferred to San Quentin, the California prison where the Insight Prison Project (IPP) launched its highly successful mindfulness- and meditation-based prisoner rehabilitation programs 15 years ago. Trunzo, inspired by an out-of-body experience and the book Autobiography of a Yogi, signed up for an IPP class. “And after that’s when I started making the changes,” he said. “Those classes were really instrumental for me.” More »
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    Good Work Summer 2011 Paid Member

    Shinjo Ito, the founder of Shinnyo-en Buddhism, a Japanese Vajrayana school, once wrote, “Faith is not about preaching or philosophy. It is action to which you dedicate your whole being.” Shinnyo-en Buddhists strive to consider the hardships of others as their own and then meditate on how to respond. Reacting to the recent events in Japan—or to any disaster—is not about asking “Why?” but rather “What can I do?” More »