There Is a Path that Frees Us from Suffering

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Shambhala Sun | September 2014 Insight teacher Gina Sharpe is working to create a truly inclusive sangha. The place to start, she says, is facing the truth that even Buddhist communities aren’t free from the suffering caused by racism. A profile by ANDREA MILLER.   Buddhist teacher Gina Sharpe once asked a student why she only attended meditation retreats that were [...]

On Track with Paul Newman

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Between blockbuster movies, car racing, and salad dressing, Paul Newman was one of the world’s most recognizable celebrities. Yet, says MICHAEL STONE, he was one of those rare people who could sit still and watch the rain fall. I’d seen Paul Newman around the track. He wore shades, he always had his collar up, and he seemed like the wise, rebellious leader of both his team and [...]

The Poison Tree: How to Transform Anger in 4 Steps (September 2014)

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Using the traditional metaphor of the poison tree, JUDY LIEF teaches us four Buddhist techniques to work with our anger. According to Buddhist psychology, anger is one of the six root kleshas, the conflicting emotions that cause our suffering. Its companions are greed, ignorance, passion, envy, and pride.  Anger can be white hot or freezing cold. Anger can be [...]

About a Poem Willis Barnstone on Baudelaire’s “Our White House”

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Our White House Outside the city I have not forgot Our white house, small but in a peaceful lot, Her chipped Pomona and her old Venus In a skimpy grove hiding their bare bust, And twilight sun both dazzling and superb Behind the pane where its immense eye burned Wide open, and the intense curious sky Pondered our long silent meals and the eye Of sun mirrored in [...]

The Angry Buddha (September 2014)

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MELVIN MCLEOD on the Enlightened Power of No Buddhas are not the love-and-light people we think they are. Of course, their enlightened mind is grounded in nirvana—total peace—but in that open space compassion spontaneously arises. It has many manifestations. One is anger. Anger is the power of no. The enlightened mind of the buddhas is enraged against the evils of samsara [...]

Obstacles on the Path (September 2014)

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If there’s a rock in your path, you have to move it, go around it, or climb over it. The same is true in meditation, says SAKYONG MIPHAM. You can’t just pretend obstacles aren’t there. You have to relate to them.  In meditation, we are on a journey from here to whatever we are trying to accomplish, be it mindfulness, peace, or compassion. We are developing the ability to [...]

Is Nothing Something? (September 2014)

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THICH NHAT HANH answers children’s questions.Children have a special place in the Plum Village tradition of Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. There are special practices, vows, and programs designed especially for children and teens, and Thich Nhat Hanh often fashions the first part of his dharma talks with them in mind. He regularly takes questions from children, and by and [...]

RAIN Cools the Flames of Anger (September 2014)

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EMILY HORN teaches us how to recognize, accept, investigate, and not identify with our anger.  The best way to transform anger and other strong emotions is to befriend them. As with any relationship, it takes time to become intimate with the inner workings of our minds. To do it we need courage and strength. And we need the help of an effective technique. Peeling [...]

All the Rage (Editorial; September 2014)

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If a kid is cute enough, their anger is also cute. I used to know a little girl like that. About eighteen months old, she had curly hair and dimpled arms. She never seemed to cry or scream, and she liked to be picked up and cooed over by adults, even strangers. Yet I remember being at a dinner party once when she saw her mother hold someone else’s baby, and in a flash her brow [...]

Books in Brief (September 2014)

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TIBETAN PEACH PIEA True Account of an Imaginative LifeBy Tom RobbinsEcco 2014; 384 pp., $27.99 (cloth) As the celebrated author of the novels Skinny Legs and All and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Tom Robbins is known for his extravagant, humorous metaphors and for juxtaposing the absurd and the lyrical, the sacred and the profane. But these are not just tricks he saves for [...]