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    The ABC's of Enlightenment Paid Member

    IN the early 1980s, one of the members of our small Zen Center came to us complaining that there was nothing in our program designed for children or families with children. In fact, our whole program at that time was lifted directly from the schedule of our founder's monastery and was only moderated in timing and intensity to accommodate people with jobs in Portland. Our early attempts to create some gaps into which children could be inserted showed our ignorance and were frustrating to the members. For instance, we tried family work/retreat days. The days were too long, boring, and structured in an adult monastic way to be engaging for the children. For the children, once was enough. More »
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    Introduction: Teaching Your Children Buddhist Values Paid Member

    Of all the thousands of the Buddha's teachings, he directed a very few—three or four, depending on what you count—specifically to children. Considering the multitude and breadth of his suttas, it's hard to imagine why more weren't geared to kids: was it because following his path requires a mature mind and mature commitment? Or was it because Indian society twenty-six hundred years ago had the instruction of children firmly in household hand—if adult family members were following the Buddha, children would naturally absorb the lessons and culture of the dharma, too. Or perhaps—and this is a personal guess—it was because the Buddha's principal teaching to a child so perfectly encapsulated the dharma that little else needed to be said. More »
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    Tough Lovingkindness Paid Member

      I NEVER intended to teach meditation to kids. A few years back, I received a phone call from a social studies teacher at a New York City high school who was teaching his students about Eastern cultures and religions. He wanted to know if I could visit his classes, talk to the kids about Buddhism, maybe take them through a brief guided meditation. I'm not sure to this day how he found me—perhaps he was scouring the Internet in search of a meditation teacher. I agreed to meet with his classes and headed for the high school, School of the Future, in Manhattan, feeling a certain amount of trepidation. I'd be operating outside my comfort zone, teaching kids.More »
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    Samsara Dogs and Monkey Kings Paid Member

    Samsara DogHelen ManosIllustrated by Julie VivasKane/Miller Book Publishers, 200748 pp.; $17.95 (cloth) More »
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    Psychedelics: Help or Hindrance? Paid Member

    Psychedelic use is on the rise again, yet there are unanswered questions from the periods of heavy use in the sixties and seventies. The conversation wasn’t even possible in the political climate of the eighties, and now, in the nineties, we hope to do some truth-telling. Buddhism and psychedelics share a concern with the same problem: finding that which frees the mind. While psychedelics lurk in the personal histories of many (perhaps most) first-generation Buddhist teachers in Europe and America, today we find many teachers advising against pursuing a path they once traveled. Few Buddhists make the claim that psychedelic use is a path itself; some maintain that it is a gateway, and others feel strongly that Buddhism and psychedelics don’t mix at all. More »