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    The Great Conversion Paid Member

    AS AN UNTOUCHABLE BOY in village India at the turn of the century, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956) was forced to sit silently on a piece of burlap at the back of his classroom; his notebooks could not be handled by the teacher, and drinking water was poured into his mouth to avoid physical contact. Like the other boys from the Mahar community of untouchables, he was beaten if he accidentally touched a caste Hindu. More »
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    Facing Loss Paid Member

    We all know what it is like to lose something: love, friendships, identity, opportunity, pets, homes, our hair. And although we know that impermanence is a fact of life, each loss still hits us afresh, almost as if we had never lost anything before. We feel empty, angry, desperate, uncertain—and lost ourselves. It's easy enough to say "This too shall pass," but what about the pain we're feeling right here, right now? More »
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    Schooling Our Intention Paid Member

    How can we engage in action on behalf of earth and not get consumed, not go crazy? We who have aligned ourselves with this effort to transform a civilization so that complex forms of life can continue are faced with something very different from the kinds of challenges that our foremothers and forefathers faced. I'd like to begin by reflecting on some peculiarities of our situation in the twilight of the twentieth century here on planet earth. Six occur to me. First of all, there is the staggering range of the crisis, from the soil to the forest to the air to the seas to the rivers to the spasms of extinction. It's overwhelming for any single pair of eyes. More »
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    Positive Disintegration Paid Member

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    Right Speech Paid Member

    “And what, friends, is right speech? Abstaining from false speech, abstaining from malicious speech, abstaining from harsh speech, and abstaining from idle chatter—this is called right speech.” “And what, bhikkhus, is wrong speech? False speech, malicious speech, harsh speech, and gossip: this is wrong speech. “And what, bhikkhus, is right speech? Right speech, I say, is twofold: there is right speech that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening on the side of attachment; and there is right speech that is noble, taintless, and supramundane, a factor of the path. More »
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    Buddhists in America: A Short Biased View Paid Member

    Political discourse has made it popular to speak of Asian-American and Euro-American Buddhism as two distinct camps; yet this does not take into account the many divisions under each of these headings. In short, there is no love lost between different Asian groups in America. Just one example: every group with half a memory of World War II—the Koreans, the Burmese—still hates the Japanese, and often the Japanese still think of other peoples as the barbarians. Race and sectarianism are further complicated by the general lack of knowledge among Asian-American congregations about sects of Buddhism other than the ones that they follow; this is logical, as their devotion has not required the labored search common to converts. Another problem with dividing Buddhists into these two groups is that African-Americans are invisible. More »