interview

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    The Easy Middle Paid Member

    Part of a new generation of teachers who grew up outside of Tibet, Mingyur Rinpoche represents an era of transition in the Tibetan community. Trained by some of the great Tibetan masters of twentieth century, he serves as a link between his father’s generation, who studied in the traditional monastic environment of pre-Communist Tibet, and teachers who were trained in exile. More »
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    The End of the Story Paid Member

    Tricycle: So often you speak of “clear seeing” and “just listening.” What makes this distinct from “regular” seeing and listening? Packer: Have you ever listened to breathing without knowing what it is? Without thinking about where it comes from or where it goes? This is an innocent listening—unburdened, unhindered by knowledge or by judgment, such as “My breathing is too shallow”; innocent listening is no right breathing, no wrong breathing. What is there when I don’t come to listening with preconceptions, but rather start freshly? Tricycle: It sounds so easy. Why is it met with so much resistance? More »
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    The Wise Heart Paid Member

    What do you hope people will learn from your latest book? Two things: The first is that Buddhism as a psychology has a great deal to offer the West. It provides an enormous and liberating map of the human psyche and of human possibility. Second, Buddhism offers a holistic approach. Often people say, “This part of life is spiritual, that part worldly,” as if the two can be divided. My own teacher, Ajahn Chah, never made a distinction between the pain of divorce and the pain in your knee and the pain of clinging to self. They are all forms of suffering, and Buddhism addresses them all. More »
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    Saved by History Paid Member

    By her own account, Elaine Pagels is “incorrigibly religious.” For her, the historical study of religion is a passionate pursuit, one that engages the whole of one’s being. The Harrington Spear Paine Foundation Professor of Religion at Princeton University, Pagels is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost scholars of the history of early Christianity. Indeed, it would not be an overstatement to say that she has forever altered how we understand the historical foundations of Christian tradition. In the process, she has eloquently demonstrated how understanding humankind’s religious past can pave the way for a more inclusive and open-minded understanding of religious life today. More »
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    Tibetan Buddhism in the West: Is It Working? Paid Member

    B. Alan Wallace trained for ten years in Buddhist monasteries in India and Switzerland. He has taught Buddhist theory and practice in Europe and America since 1976 and served as interpreter for numerous Tibetan teachers, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Author of the forthcoming Buddhism with an Attitude (Snow Lion Publications), Wallace has contributed to more than thirty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture. He presenty teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. This interview, conducted by Brian Hodel, is an expanded version of an interview that first appeared in Snow Lion, the newsletter of Snow Lion Publications. An excerpt of his new book appear here, on page 4 of this article. More »
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    The Point of Contact Paid Member

    At the age of fourteen, Steve Young, a Jewish kid growing up in Los Angeles, saw a samurai movie. It triggered in him an interest in Japanese culture and language that eventually led to his enrollment in an alternative school system for Japanese-American children. From then on, he grew up “bilingual and bicultural.” When he reached high school, to deepen his understanding of Japanese culture, Young felt he needed to understand its Chinese influences, so his parents hired a Mandarin language tutor. When he learned of the influence of Indian culture on Chinese culture by way of Buddhism, he moved on to Sanskrit, and asked his parents for another tutor. More »