All of our interpersonal relationships are a crucible for Buddhist practice
  • A Special Bond Paid Member

    It is like this: wherever we go, people make a beeline for Moune. One block of Charlottesville’s pedestrian mall will bring “What kind of dog is that?” “Oh, honey, come check it out! He looks just like Benji!” “Is that a Briard?” “Can I pet him? Her?” “What’s its name?” “Winn-Dixie!” “Can I take a picture?” “How old is he?” “Hey Bud!” “Oh. My. God. She is so PRESH!” Some days we enjoy the limelight; other days Ma Moune tolerantly stands there while I, hackles raised, can barely suppress the urge to growl and bare my teeth. It is great patience practice if I’m in a hurry or a bad mood. I’ve joked with friends that next time I’ll get a dog that everyone will pass by without a second glance. More »
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    Cultivating Gratitude and the Shadow of Entitlement Paid Member

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    Teenage Wasteland Paid Member

    “Mom! I am not one of those people who want to help people. Not everyone is going to make the world better!” It was the advent of my 15-year-old son’s summer vacation, and I was trying to persuade him to volunteer somewhere a few hours a week. Although I hadn’t specifically charged him with “making the world better,” he knew that was what I expected of everyone, our family included. Like most teenagers, he also understood exactly how to make me react. When we’d moved a few months earlier, he refused to unpack his books, telling me in no uncertain terms that he didn’t want books in his room, that he didn’t want to read. I teach college English. Even if my son wasn’t consciously going for my Achilles’ heel, I knew he knew where it was. More »
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    Naikan Therapy Paid Member

    Naikan is a Japanese word that means “looking inside,” though a more poetic translation might be “seeing oneself with the mind’s eye.” It is a structured method of self-reflection that helps us to understand ourselves, our relationships, and the fundamental nature of human existence. Naikan was developed in Japan in the 1940s by Ishin Yoshimoto, a devout Buddhist of the Pure Land sect (Jodo Shinshu). His strong religious spirit led him to practice mishirabe, an arduous method of meditation and self-reflection. Wishing to make such introspection available to others, he developed Naikan as a method that could be more widely practiced. More »
  • Side Effect Paid Member

    Philip Whalen, NYC 1984. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg. More »
  • Talking Buddha, Talking Christ Paid Member

    Popemania may have moved on to the afterlife, but our memories of it endure: the wide-eyed references to Francis as a "rockstar," the jet-black Fiat, and yes, even the Popemojis. Papal pomp aside, perhaps the most memorable moment of the visit was the Pope's address to a joint session of Congress, in which he spoke pointedly about climate change, the arms trade, and the death penalty, among other issues.  More »