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    Through a Glass, Darkly Paid Member

    Looking back I wince at the memory of reading The Tibetan Book of the Dead to my dying grandfather. The arrogance of imposing those terrifying descriptions of the final deterioration on the faltering impulses of an old Jewish man born in Odessa and dying in Brooklyn! My brother, having arrived from California expectedly, found me transmitting the eerie incantations through a plastic straw that went directly into his ear. Michael had grabbed the book, looked at the title, and thrown it across the room, screaming, "Are you crazy?" What I knew even then was that it violated the universe itself—call it God or grace or not—to disturb the dying with discord. Now, twenty years later I am nursing my mother and I want to get it right this time, this wondrous responsibility of bidding the dying farewell. Yet my brother has arrived again, and is so filled with enthusiasm for euthanasia that he argues in her hospital room as if the bed is empty. More »
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    A Very Easy Death Paid Member

    The pneumatic mattress massaged her skin; there were pads between her knees, and they had a hoop over them to prevent the sheets from touching; another arrangement stopped her heels touching the draw-sheet: but for all that, bedsores were beginning to appear all over her body. With her hips paralyzed by arthritis, her right arm half powerless and left immovably fixed to the intravenous dripper, she could not make the first beginnings of a movement. "Pull me up," she said. More »
  • What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You? Paid Member

    Gregory A. WoodBookstore OwnerSan Francisco, California "I think a person has the right to die in his own time and observe death in its own time. The opportunity to steady the process is a part of our everyday life, then we open up to the moment of breath as the complete unopened present." Tyler GazeckiArchitect Tacoma, Washington "I have a grandmother ailing at age ninety-two; I've been told that she could take a pill to hasten her death. But death is a natural process and it is somewhat egocentric to place restrictions on that process." More »
  • Freedom's Just Another Word Paid Member

    In the late sixties Janis Joplin's voice rallied the bedraggled front lines of the cultural revolution with the refrain from "Me and Bobby McGee": "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose." As she sang, the United States was committed to an unjust war, race riots had some cities in flames and every city on edge, and psychedelic drugs promised salvation from personal despair through sex, love, and ecstatic communion. For Janis and her fans, freedom from convention, freedom from parental and societal restraint, freedom from everything already labeled, categorized, and institutionalized was pursued with an urgency far surpassing that of the United States military fighting to keep Vietnam "free" from communism. More »
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    The Politics of Enlightenment Paid Member

    The point of discussing a Buddhist platform is not to generate something altogether new and exotic, but to reinforce enlightenment-oriented tendencies and to mobilize active Buddhist participation in American politics. More »
  • Re: Voting Paid Member

    LEANN KYOAN NAIL Graduate student Dallas, Texas "It means voting. I like the way Plato wanted us to do it: all politicians would be housed in barracks. They wouldn't have much money, but they'd be taken care of by society, so the only thing they would have to do is govern."ALLAN HUNT BADINER Writer Big Sur, California"I think it would be hard to be a paid politician and a Buddhist, but a good Buddhist could definitely be on the voting end of the equation."WANDA McKINLEY Financial manager Nashville, Tennessee More »