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    Dharma Discourse: The Lotus Sutra Paid Member

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  • Gardening at the Green Dragon's Gate Paid Member

    Every spring I receive my best gardening instruction from walking along the edge of our cultivated farmland. I walk just inside the fields, right up against the nine-foot-high deer fence, running my hand over the woven wire as I go. On this ragged borderline, I am forced to slow down. Sometimes I walk so slowly I can close my eyes. I smell the wild pennyroyal mint rising out of the wet eye sockets of small mountain springs just outside the fence. On the rim of these springs grows fetid adder’s tongue, Scoliopus bigelovi, thrusting its ill-scented flowers into the new spring air. The stench of rotting meat hovers over the strange, brown-speckled blooms as they uncurl, luring the flies that will pollinate them. I can feel the slow water of the pennyroyal springs seep out of the hillside and saturate the farm soil on my side of the fence. A good place for summer leeks, I tell myself. The mountain will keep the land wet well past June. More »
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    The Heartbeat Sutra Paid Member

    The first time I talked with “Dr. Chaos” about Buddhism was one twilit night a couple of years ago in a California January. We were sitting on the deck of a friend’s house in Big Sur, two hundred feet above the Pacific. It’s a place where you can both hear and see the waves break. As we listened and watched, the water stretching out like a vast mirror to the horizon, there, in glorious magenta light, the winter sun slowly set: metallic, then amber, then scarlet—one of those natural scenes so far beyond the viewer, so much grander and deeper, that a kind of vertigo swept over us. “You know, I have never watched a sunset before in my life, not to that final moment,” said Dr. Chaos as the darkness rose up out of the ocean and covered us. More »
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    Noticing Space Paid Member

    In meditation, we can be alert and attentive; it’s like listening. What we are doing is just bringing into awareness the way it is, noticing space and form. For example, we can notice space in a room. Most people probably wouldn’t notice the space; they would notice the things in it—the people, the walls, the floor, the furniture. But in order to notice the space, what do we do? We withdraw our attention from the things and bring our attention to the space. This does not mean getting rid of things, or denying the things their right to be there. It merely means not concentrating on them, not going from one thing to another. More »
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    A Monk Goes To Washington Paid Member

    At the conclusion of his U.S. tour in September, Thich Nhat Hanh traveled to Washington, DC, where he spoke with members of Congress and held a three-day retreat. In the packed auditorium of the Library of Congress, he offered some valuable, if challenging, advice for the gathered politicos: Voting along party lines, he said, would not lead to good policy; politicians must instead listen to their inner wisdom in order to vote wisely. (Tell that to the House Whip.) He also stressed the importance of listening to views of others, treating them not as opponents but as people with differing opinions. More »
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    The Precepts: A Special Practice Section Paid Member

    The Buddhist Precepts: An IntroductionMartine Bachelor More »