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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 »
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    The Dog's Tooth Paid Member

    Once, as a Tibetan trader was preparing to leave on his travels, his mother asked him if he would bring her back a relic from India, the land of the Buddha. “I’m too old to make such a pilgrimage now,” she said. The son assured his mother that he would find her a holy relic. But months later, when he returned, he was dismayed to discover that he had completely forgotten his mother’s request. So he promised her that next time he would not be so careless. More »