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Tuesday
Feb182014

A Meeting of Hearts and Minds

If you want to have a deep teacher-student relationship, says Jakusho Kwong, it’s not enough to know your teacher’s heart and mind. You need to know your own as well.

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Tuesday
Feb182014

Falling in Love with a Buddha

Frank Berliner, a longtime student of the late chögyam trungpa rinpoche, describes the ever-deepening stages of relationship one experiences with their guru.

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Tuesday
Feb182014

No Teacher of Zen

Illustration by Sydney Smith

From the beginning, Norman Fischer never had much use for Zen teachers—and he still doesn’t. But after years of being one himself, he has a fuller appreciation of the role a teacher plays.

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Tuesday
Feb182014

As Human As You Are

We want our teachers to practice what they preach, but when we look closely, they can seem just as flawed as the rest of us. Sumi Loundon Kim discovers for herself what’s so special—and so ordinary—about being the teacher.

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Tuesday
Feb182014

Chanting Names Once Forgotten

Women Ancestors Document</em>, approved by the Soto Zen Buddhist Association, 2010. Art by Barbara Cooper.

A quiet movement to reshape our understanding of Zen lineage and history is bringing attention to the forgotten names and voices of women in the tradition. Grace Schireson explains how the Women Ancestors Document came into being and what it means for practitioners.

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Tuesday
Feb182014

The Hidden Lamp

Female Bodhidharma</em> by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753–1806)

Three contemporary women teachers shine new light on centuries-old stories of women and awakening.

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Tuesday
Feb182014

It All Depends

Milky Way (installation, detail) by Mihoko Ogaki, 2008

Reality may seem solid, says Bhikkhu Bodhi, but it is merely a reflection of unstable, conditioned processes, or sankharas, coming together with no one in charge. The Buddha's teachings on sankhara reveal how this works.

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Tuesday
Feb182014

Commentary: Enlightenment is Something We Do Together

John Tarrant, photo by Roger Jordan

There’s a romantic idea of enlightenment as a solitary and heroic act, but even if you’re off by yourself in a cave, you are still part of a culture, and it’s observable that some cultures are more friendly to discovery than others. Building a culture has been an ongoing and repeated task of Buddhism since the time of the Buddha.

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Tuesday
Feb182014

Ask the Teachers

Zenkei Blanche Hartman, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, and Narayan Helen Liebenson

Q: I was raised a Christian and taught that there is an eternal soul that leaves the body upon death and goes to heaven or hell. While I am now a Buddhist practitioner, my early religious upbringing has remained a problem. My logical brain tells me there must be something that animates a being and leaves the body when it dies; after all, one can tell the difference between a corpse and a living being.

In the Theravada tradition, we have the Jataka tales that describe Gautama’s previous lives. In the Zen tradition, Jiyu-Kennett Roshi describes her former lives in her autobiography, The Wild, White Goose. In the Vajrayana tradition of Tibet, there is the tulku tradition with the intentional reincarnation of realized beings such as the Dalai Lama.

Please help me understand the Buddhist concept of what is reborn or reincarnated. What is it that is never born yet never dies? Is it consciousness? Awareness? Is it empty? It seems like an eternal soul to me.

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Tuesday
Feb182014

Let's Talk: Cybersanghas—Do They Work?

Dosho Port meets with some of his students online

The Internet has transformed sanghas. Buddhists who have been geographically isolated with little access to teachers and senior practitioners for guidance now have teachers and entire communities at their fingertips. Informa- tion and opinions about dharma centers, teach- ers, and sanghas are also readily available to practitioners worldwide, effectively leveling the dharma field and deflating notions of specialness.

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