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    Cultivating Compassion Paid Member

    This book is different from your earlier books, so much so that the press release actually refers to it as your first book. Well, it’s actually my twenty-eighth book. Most of my other books have been academic, seven of them for the Dalai Lama, working with him to produce works of his own. I wanted to do a book about compassion that spoke in my own voice and used my own life and experiences as a means to get the message across; it’s not a thousand-page treatise on emptiness!Why have you written this book now? More »
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    On Silence Paid Member

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    In It Together Paid Member

    I’ve been told—but I don’t know for sure—that you’re like me. If I could speak for you, I would say that you have a deep longing for oneness, a deep urge to return to your original face before your parents were born. The sutra just quoted talks about “the mountains and rivers of the immediate present.” How can you return to the immediate present? These mountains of the immediate present are the self before the emergence of subtle signs. Your existence in the immediate present is the self before the emergence of signs. More »
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    Yasutani Roshi: The Hardest Koan Paid Member

    In Zen at War (Weatherhill, 1997), Brian Victoria examined how the Japanese Zen clergy interpreted Buddhist teachings in ways that made Zen dharma—and themselves—complicit with the Imperial Forces for the success of what was called "The Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere." More »
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    Consider Yourself a Tourist Paid Member

    Within less than fifty years, I, Tenzin Gyatso, the Buddhist monk, will be no more than a memory. Indeed, it is doubtful whether a single person reading these words will be alive a century from now. Time passes unhindered. When we make mistakes, we cannot turn the clock back and try again. All we can do is use the present well. Therefore, if when our final day comes we are able to look back and see that we have lived full, productive, and meaningful lives, that will at least be of some comfort. If we cannot, we may be very sad. But which of these we experience is up to us. More »
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    A Sangha by Another Name Paid Member

    The black experience in America, like the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, begins with suffering. It begins in the violence of seventeenth-century slave forts sprinkled along the west coast of Africa, where debtors, thieves, war prisoners, and those who would not convert to Islam were separated from their families, branded, and sold to Europeans who packed them into pestilential ships that cargoed 20 million human beings (a conservative estimate) to the New World. Only 20 percent of those slaves survived the harrowing voyage at sea (and only 20 percent of the sailors, too), and if they were among the lucky few to set foot on American soil new horrors and heartbreak awaited them. More »