insights

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    The Space Between Paid Member

    Our brain drug cleft the young woman in two. The left-brain version of Naomi was different from the right. Ms. Left-brain was talkative and cheerful. Ms. Right-brain was unsettled, mute, morose. When the words finally broke through, she hadn’t a clue where she was. “What the fuck am I doing here?” I’ve never heard Ms. Left-brain swear. Afterward, when the drug wore off, Ms. Left-brain spoke for the whole person. “It was a breeze,” she said. There was no recollection of Ms. Right-brain’s discomfort. It had been edited out of the story. More »
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    Buddha Buzz Spring 2005 Paid Member

    Don’t Mess with JizoLitter was becoming a major problem in the Japanese town of Nagato last year, as tourists passing through to nearby ski resorts threw their garbage wherever they parked. Finally, officials hit on a unique solution: the town placed statues of the popular bodhisattva Jizo, patron of travelers and children, at parking spaces around Nagato. Trash levels subsequently dropped to near zero. As one reformed litterbug explained, “I can’t drop litter now, not with the statue looking at me.” More »
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    Ryokan Revisited Paid Member

    TWO POEMS FOR MY FRIEND BOSAI  Yes, I truly a danceLiving among trees and plantsPlease don't question me about illusion    and enlightenment—This old fellow just likes to smile to himself.I wade across streams with bony legs,And carry a bag about in fine springweather.That’s my life,And the world owes me nothing. The gaudy beauty of this world has no    attraction for me—My closest friends are mountains and rivers, More »
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    Chanting through a Saxophone Paid Member

    A new biography of jazz legend Wayne Shorter illuminates how Buddhism influenced his life. More »
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    The Splendor of Asia Paid Member

    In her 1926 account of the Buddha’s life, popular fantasy writer L. Adams Beck describes a brooding Prince Siddhartha in a pleasure garden called the Paradise after his first glimpse of death. He is approached by his childhood friend Udayi, sent by his father to soothe the prince. More »
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    Give and Take: The Pleasures of Pain Paid Member

    Can you share some of the benefits of chronic pain that you've discovered in your twenty-five years of dealing with rheumatoid arthritis? Nobody begrudges you even your most politically incorrect pleasures; conventional standards of social courtesy may be violated indiscriminately; you begin to be intensely grateful for the invention of things like spoons, footstools, and electric toothbrushes; and with minimum exertion, you can make able-bodied people who park in handicapped spots wish their parents had never met. Name something you thought at the time was a cool insight but on later inspection turned out to be really dumb. People have told me for years how my pain is a gift, blessing me with insight, appreciation, gratitude, and wisdom. Frankly, I'd rather be superficial. More »