interview

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    Enlightenment In This Lifetime: Meetings With A Remarkable Woman Paid Member

    Among the first wave of young Americans venturing into Asia in the early 1970s were Jack Engler, now a prominent psychotherapist and supervising psychologist at Harvard University, and Joseph Goldstein, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, in Barre, Massachusetts. Both men were deeply influenced by Indian meditation master Nani Barua (1911-1989), affectionately known as “Dipa Ma,” and her teacher, Anagarika Munindra (1914-2003). Perhaps what most characterized these young Americans and their approach to the dharma was their boundless enthusiasm—and the plucky belief that enlightenment could be attained in this lifetime. While many Asians had come to believe that such high aspirations were best deferred to a future life, Munindraji and Dipa Ma insisted that such goals were not only to be encouraged but that they were also entirely realizable. More »
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    Just As It Is Paid Member

    “You have to be somebody before you can be nobody,” Jack Engler wrote twenty years ago in Transformations of Consciousness, and recently revisited in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism. A supervising psychologist and instructor at Harvard Medical School, where he teaches psychotherapy, Engler has a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a former president of the board of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts and a founding member and teacher at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. 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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    The Ghost of Eden Paid Member

    A poet and Zen student, Chase Twichell is a recipient of awards from the Artists Foundation (Boston), the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has written five volumes of poetry, the latest of which are The Snow Watcher and The Ghost of Eden. Twichell has taught widely, most recently at Princeton University. In 1999 she left Princeton to found Ausable Press, which publishes poetry and poetry-related prose that “investigates and expresses human consciousness in language that goes where prose cannot.” She lives in upstate New York. More »
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    Going Upstream Paid Member

    Ordained at age twelve in Kandy, Sri Lanka, the Venerable Henepola Gunaratana trained as a novice for eight years and as a bhikkhu (monk) for seven years before leaving Sri Lanka in 1954 to work with untouchables in India. In 1968 he came to the United States and became the Honorary General Secretary of the Buddhist Vihara Society, an urban monastery in Washington, D.C., while earning a Ph.D in Philosophy from the American University, where he later served as the Buddhist chaplain. He has been teaching Buddhism and conducting meditation retreats in Southeast Asia, North America, Europe, Mexico, and Australia for over forty years. His books include Mindfulness in Plain English from Wisdom Publications (see article here). More »
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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 several books, including Awakening the Buddha Within. This interview was conducted at Lama Surya Das’s home in Concord, Massachusetts, by Helen Tworkov, and ran in the Fall 2000 issue of Tricycle. More »