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    A Native Son of Spanish New Mexico Paid Member

    Roshi Bernard Tetsugen Glassman stands with an attendant before the zendo altar, exuding massive concentration under the burden of heavy formal robes in the heat of an Albuquerque summer. As scores of guests crowded into Hidden Mountain Zen Center for the Buddha Eye Opening dedication ceremony look on, he slowly drops a pinch of incense into a burner. It bursts into a fragrant cloud. Then the new Zen center’s abbot, Sensei Alfred Jitsudo Ancheta, a native New Mexican, takes his dharma brother’s place at the altar to perform a memorial service for their late teacher, Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi. Ancheta executes the ritual movements with exquisite care. “Right here now as this river-mountain-sky-desert-swamp-ocean Roshi!” he declares. “Why don’t we see your body here in this zendo?” More »
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    A River Runs Through It Paid Member

    From its headwaters north of Crestone, Colorado south to Albuquerque, New Mexico, the northern Rio Grande region is becoming home to a distinctly southwestern Buddhism.Drumbeats pierce the quiet of first light as fires appear at the top of a low mesa that hangs over the eastern edge of the pueblo of Jemez. The pink and yellow hues of the canyon are softened by the haze from the bonfires that line the roads winding between low adobe houses in the village. The people of the pueblo welcome Christmas morning as they have for as long as they have farmed corn along the river and hunted deer in the mountains. More »
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    Dogs Abroad Paid Member

    Dogs I usually think of as four-legged muscle relaxants, wagging counterparts to Penelope, or helicopter look-alikes with floppy ears for radars. They are creatures of hearth and home—household gods with legs—and they tie us to the places we know, and mark our territory with their own. Reflecting our secret hopes back to us, they obligingly allow us to project all our affections and fears upon them. More »
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    The Dog-Duty Ascetic Paid Member

    Thus have I heard: One day the Buddha was visited by Punna, an ox-duty ascetic, and by Seniya, a dog-duty ascetic. Each of them hoped to be reborn as a great god in reward for their arduous ascetic practices. Punna, the ox-duty ascetic, paid homage to the Blessed One, and sat down to one side, while Seniya, the dog-duty ascetic, spoke cheerfully with the Blessed One. Then he sat down on the other side, curling up comfortably like a dog before the hearth. More »
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    Dog Paid Member

    The dyslexic believes in dog, and so do I. Blessed be we. My dog, Toby, does a handstand, face deep into his bowl, and eats while balanced on his forepaws. I am astonished. I want to call out to someone, verify what I am seeing. Later, I talk about it, but no one believes me. They don’t say so, of course, merely smile and look away. Some day, I am almost sure, he will speak, and his first word will be “No,” correcting some gauche behavior on my part. At this very moment, as I type, dog sits upon my lap. When he kisses my chin, I will have to stop and take him to confer with Max, the neighbor’s Labrador. More »
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    All Sentient Beings Paid Member

    I am the chosen life-companion of a part wolf. As her years were growing long, I became concerned about the quality of her life. Then I heard that a Tibetan lama, the venerable Kusum Lingpa Rinpoche, would be coming to offer Longevity Empowerments in the town where Grendel and I lived. Now, the various Buddhisms are reputed to be for all sentient beings. Part of the Bodhisattva Vow is not to accept nirvana until “all sentient beings” have become enlightened. So I expected that Grendel would also be welcome at this event. My whole point of going was to take her, the old lady. I was simply going along as her companion. More »