interview

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    Nature Unfolding Paid Member

    Central Building of the Eishin Campus, built by Alexander in Japan in 1985 IN THE LATE 1970S, a book with the odd title A Pattern Language became a bible to me and to many of my friends. Ostensibly about architecture, it was really a handbook on how to live. In the evenings, I’d sit under a lamp and turn its thin, almost translucent pages, looking at lists of design elements like “Cascading Roofs,” “Alcove,” and “Sunny Spot.” These “patterns” could be cobbled together to make a house. More »
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    Empty Phenomena Rolling On Paid Member

    Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (both in Barre, Massachusetts), has been leading retreats in the vipassana tradition of Southeast Asia for nearly twenty years. His teachers include Anagarika Munindra, S. N. Goenka, Dipa Ma, and the Venerable V Pandita Sayadaw of Burma. He is the author of The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation and co-author of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation. His new book, Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom, was published by Shambhala in the fall. This interview was conducted by editor Helen Tworkov at IMS in October. More »
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    Living Two Traditions Paid Member

    Gil Fronsdal has been a student of Buddhist practice for more than twenty-five years. He trained in the Soto Zen tradition, receiving dharma transmission in 1995, as well as in the Vipassana—or Insight Meditation—lineages of Theravada Buddhism. Since 1990, Fronsdal has served as resident teacher at the Insight Meditation Center of the Mid-Peninsula in Redwood City, California. Only the second urban Insight Meditation center in America, it is funded entirely by dana contributions. Tricycle Editor-in-Chief James Shaheen interviewed Gil Fronsdal at his center in August 2002. It is unusual for someone to be a teacher of both Zen and Vipassana. Since you started out in the Zen tradition, can you describe how you first came to the practice? More »
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    The Freelance Monotheist Paid Member

    Karen Armstrong is one of the most renowned religion scholars in the world today. Recognized for the lucidity of her prose and her extraordinary breadth of knowledge, she is the author of more than a dozen books, among them the acclaimed bestsellers A History of God, Islam, and Buddha. Born near Birmingham, England, in 1945, Armstrong was raised Roman Catholic, and entered a convent in her teens. After seven years, she left in personal crisis, feeling that she had failed her faith and that her faith had failed her. She embarked on an academic career, but her hopes were dashed when her dissertation was rejected. She took a position at a girl’s school, from which, after six years, she was “politely” asked to leave. Around this time she found out she had epilepsy. “My early life,” she has written, “was a complete catastrophe.” More »
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    A Mindful Balance Paid Member

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    Straight Ahead: An Interview with John Daido Loori Paid Member

    John Daido Loori is the abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery (ZMM) in Mt. Tremper, New York. He is a Dharma heir of Hakyu Taizan Maesumi Roshi, founder of the White Plum Asanga, and has received transmission in both the Rinzai and Soto lines of Zen. Daido Loori is also founder and director of the Mountain and Rivers Order, an organization of Zen Buddhist temples, practice centers, and sitting groups in the United States and abroad. In addition, he is president of Dharma Communications, which promotes Buddhist teachings through videos, audiotapes, meditation supplies, Mountain Record quarterly, and Internet activities. Under his guidance, ZMM has established a Zen Environmental Studies Center and engages in an array of social action programs for, among others, prisoners, the homeless, and people with AIDS. This interview was conducted in Daido Loori’s office at ZMM, photographs by Stuart Soshin Gray. Interview by Jeff Zaleski. More »