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    Prayer: Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche Paid Member

    Why do we pray? We might think that if we do the Buddha, or God, or the deity will look kindly upon us, bestow blessings, protect us. We might believe that if we don’t, the deity won’t like us, might even punish us. But the purpose of prayer is not to win the approval or avert the wrath of an exterior God. To the extent that we understand Buddha, God, the deity, to be an expression of ultimate reality, to that extent we receive blessings when we pray. To the extent that we have faith in the boundless qualities of the deity’s love and compassion, to that extent we receive the blessings of those qualities. More »
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    Prayer: Glenn Mullin Paid Member

    Most Western Buddhists were raised in one of the three Semitic religions: Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. All three of these hold prayer as their principal spiritual method. This left many of us with a bad case of prayerphobia. We turned to Buddhism for its meditation, its lofty philosophy, its colorful tantric yogas, and its zany Zen poetry. Traditional Buddhists, however, do pray. Any visitor to the monasteries and meditation centers of Asia can testify to this. For example, in Dharamsala one may witness the Dalai Lama and his monks performing some ritual involving chanting, much of which could be classified as “prayer.” The same scene with different monk faces can be seen in Japan, Korea, or Sri Lanka. More »
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    Prayer: Interview with Dr. Larry Dossey Paid Member

    In Reinventing Medicine, (HarperSanFrancisco, 1999), Dr. Larry Dossey cites several scientific studies about the effectiveness of prayer. Medical evidence now supports the view that prayer helps in the healing process, and some studies have documented positive results of Tibetan prayer as an intercessory tool. Dr. Dossey has written eight books including Healing Words: The Power of Prayer & The Practice of Medicine (HarperSanFrancisco, 1993) and is executive editor of the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Today Dr. Dossey lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is former chief of staff at Humana Medical City Dallas and former co-chair of the Panel on Mind/Body interventions, Office of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health.What is your definition of prayer? More »
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    Sravasti: Diamond in the Rough Paid Member

    Sravasti is a sleepy outpost likely unknown by many Buddhists east or west. Yet it is Sravasti, or ancient Savatthi, that was the center of the Buddha’s world, its largest city, and the closest any place comes to being his home. As the capital of the kingdom of Kosala, Sravasti hosted the Buddha for 25 rainy seasons and was the setting for the majority of his important teachings. More »
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    Too Much Paid Member

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    Fairy Tales and Zen Riddles Paid Member

    Rafe Martin was born into the perfect training ground for a storyteller. He grew up immersed in told stories, hearing his father’s tales of flying dangerous rescue missions in the Himalayas during World War II, fairy tales read aloud by his mother, and his Russian-Jewish relatives telling entrancing, often hilarious, stories about their lives. His early exposure to stories about Asia, his reading of Alan Watts and other Buddhist authors, and a chance meeting with Allen Ginsberg in a bar in Greenwich Village fueled his interest in Zen practice. In the late ’60’s, Martin found himself becoming disillusioned with graduate school at a time when the Vietnam War and social unrest were peaking. “I made a vow to myself in graduate school that if things got really bad, I’d go practice Zen,” he said. More »