interview

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    Old Wine, New Bottles Paid Member

    Lama Surya Das, the American founder of the Dzogchen Foundation, a lay practice center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was born Jeffrey Miller in Brooklyn, New York, in 1950. He spent nearly thirty years studying with many of the great spiritual masters of Tibet, including Kalu Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Gyalwa Karmapa, and Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche. A dzogchen lineage holder, Lama Surya Das has twice completed the traditional three-year Vajrayana meditation retreat at Shechen Monastery in Dordogne, France. In addition to leading dzogchen retreats, he is the author of Awakening the Buddha Within and Awakening the Sacred, and has translated into English a selection of Tibetan wisdom tales, published in a collection titled The Snow Lion's Turquoise Mane. This interview was conducted at Lama Surya Das’s home in Concord, Massachusetts, by Helen Tworkov. More »
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    Buddha and the Bulls Paid Member

    Big time sports is not normally viewed as a path to enlightenment. Most coaches are spiritual disciples of Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, who is reputed to have coined the phrase "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Not so Phil Jackson. More »
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    Surviving the Dragon Paid Member

    Arjia Rinpoche was born in 1950, the same year Mao Zedong’s People’s Liberation Army invaded Tibet. His early years were ones of geographical and political isolation. His nomadic family herded their yaks across the high plains of the Tibetan-Mongolian border, their camp never far from the vast blue waters of Lake Kokonor. At the age of two, he was recognized by the Tenth Panchen Lama (the second-ranking figure in Tibet after the Dalai Lama) as the reincarnation of the father of Tsongkhapa (the founder of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism). At the age of seven, he was sent to live in Kumbum Monastery, one of Tibet’s six great monastic universities. More »
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    The Wise Investigator Paid Member

    Can you say something about the title of your book, Don’t Look Down on the Defilements, They Will Laugh at You? I never intended to write a book. One of my yogis had taken a lot of notes during interviews and wanted to make them available to others. Those notes were then edited and expanded by me and some other yogis. We picked the title because it is important not to underestimate the power of the defilements. When I teach meditation I emphasize the importance of watching the mind. While doing this you will see a lot of defilements. In their grosser manifestations, the defilements are anger, greed, and delusion. And they have plenty of friends and relatives, who often show up as the five hindrances: desire, aversion, torpor, restlessness, and doubt. More »
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    Ordinary Struggles Paid Member

    Socho Koshin Ogui Sensei is an eighteenth-generation priest in the Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land) tradition, the most commonly practiced form of Buddhism in Japan. A resident of the United States since 1962, he became minister of the Cleveland Buddhist Temple in 1977 and of the Midwest Buddhist Temple in Chicago in 1992. In 2004, he was appointed Socho (Bishop) of the Buddhist Churches of America and has been instrumental in the ongoing revitalization and outreach efforts of that organization. The author of Zen Shin Talks, he now lives in San Francisco. Last fall, Tricycle contributing editor Clark Strand spoke with Socho Ogui about the idea of “practice” in Jodo Shinshu and his experiences in combining a Zen style of meditation with a Jodo Shinshu style of living. Photos © Michael Endo More »