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    Close Friends Paid Member

    The Serenity Prayer God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Jill: I started drinking before I got involved with Buddhism. Rose: We were both trying to become yoga teachers at a center in the East Coast. We had to stop drinking and not eat meat. Jill: And then our future Buddhist teacher came and turned it all around. He was invited to talk there. It must have been '70 or '71. I noticed he smoked and drank, and I was thrilled. Rose: And that was just how I grew up. Everyone in my family drank. I never even thought about it. Drinking was normal. In my social background, it was the way people dealt with feelings. So I didn't get into Buddhism to figure out anything about my drinking. I got interested in following a spiritual path when I realized that there was something to karma. I had had an abortion. More »
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    From A to Z Paid Member

    The Twelve Steps 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 5. Admitted to God, ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. 8. Made a list of all person we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. More »
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    Deity or Demon? Paid Member

    Tibetan Buddhists of the Gelugpa Lineage have been battling over a protector god named Dorje Shugden—and whether this spirit is a benevolent deity or an agent of evil. The conflict remained largely unknown to Westerners until 1996, when disciples of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso of the New Kadampa Tradition in England picketed the Dalai Lama (who had asked his followers no to worship Shugden), accusing him of restricting their religious freedom. In 1997, Geshe Lobsang Gyatso, a prominent Gelugpa monk, and two of his disciples were murdered in Dharamsala. Some Gelugpas, the Indian police, and consequently the International press, have ascribed the killings to Shugden worshipers. More »
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    Vast Time: Timescapes Paid Member

                                                            While rotating on its axis at 1,670 kilometers per hour, the planet earth orbits the sun at 108,000 kilometers per hour. Light, traveling at a speed of 300,000 kilometers per second, is energy created by wave motion. Through innumerable births and deaths, all species pass life on to succeeding generations. More »
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    Unfolding Flowers, Matchless Flames Paid Member

    I "Tell me my name,"I asked Sifu, as ashesturn the City of Angels blue.Said he: "Wait untilGautama's birthday." Tip by singed fingertip,the ends of orange punk stickstinge the burning days of L.A.—firefighters in bulletproof vestscatapult through flamesprod mini-malls to fall fasterwithout falling uponthe arms of mothers,fathers, daughters, sons, who,picking through the rubble of barriosoutfit their desire, abandontheir plantation names. II Santa Ana windscarry the haze away,not even Buddha's handcan bring backthose who have losttheir breath and beauty here. More »
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    Meat: To Eat It or Not Paid Member

    What the historical Buddha ate for his last meal has been the subject of much debate. The controversial passage from the  Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the sutta that recounts the Buddha's final days, tells us that on his last night the Buddha rested in the home of Cunda, a metalsmith apparently known to the Buddha. In honor of his guest, Cunda prepared (probably not personally) "hard and soft delicious food, and also a large quantity of sukaramaddava." The difficulty lies in the translation of sukaramaddava. The amateur mycologist Gordon Wasson studied the available literature on the problem and admirably summarized it in his essay "The Last Meal of the Buddha": More »