Suffering Opens The Real Path

suffering dukkha death dying zen norman fischer lion's roar buddhism

Norman Fischer explains why it’s suffering that gives us the incentive, vision, and strength to transform our lives. On January 12, 2009, my dear friend of forty years, my best friend who was more than a brother to me, Rabbi Alan Lew, died without any warning or any known illness. I won’t go on about our long friendship; there’s too much to say. Suffice it to say, we were as [...]

How to Practice Zazen

How to do Zazen Zen Meditation Practice Tomi Um Shambhala Sun Meditation Jules Shuzen Harris Soto Instructions

Jules Shuzen Harris teaches the meditation practice at the heart of Zen Buddhism, from the "How to Practice" section of the Shambhala Sun. There are many forms of meditation that offer you the opportunity to cultivate stillness and open up space in your life. One such form, zazen, has both outward and inward instructions in how to engage your awareness in the immediate, [...]

Buddhism and Unitarian Universalism: What’s the connection?

Unitarian Universalism congregation Buddhism Soto Zen Doug Traversa Buddhism Tullahoma

Unitarian Universalism (UU) — an offshoot of Christianity — has a long, friendly history with Buddhism. Many UUists are also Buddhist, and many Buddhists also identify with the church of UU (For example, the Rev. James Myoun Ford, a UU minister and guiding teacher at Boundless Way Zen, who is featured in a conversation about the future of Zen in the current issue [...]

Remembering “Irish Zen Saint” Maura O’Halloran


Maura O'Halloran was a young Irish-American woman who took to Zen practice (and how!), as famously recounted in her journals, posthumously published as the book Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint. (O'Halloran was killed in an accident and her novel, of course, never finished. But you can read "Annie Mirror Heart," part of that [...]

NYC workshop: Zen & The Heart of Creative Practice

Joe Raiola MAD Magazine Zazen Zen Meditation Creative Workshop Upcoming Event New York City Lion's Roar Buddhism

Theatre Within, the grassroots non-profit in New York City dedicated to furthering the performing arts as a positive social force, is offering a new workshop—"Zen & The Heart of Creative Practice"—as part of its new tuition-free workshop series. The workshop will be led by Theatre Within Artistic Director, Joe Raiola, who also happens to be Senior Editor at MAD Magazine and [...]

9 surprising facts about Henry Miller’s affinity for Buddhism

Henry miller Buddhist Lion's Roar hummingbird

As someone who spent far too much time hiding in my college’s library, devouring the stories, plays, and letters of Henry Miller, I am flabbergasted now to learn of the depth of Miller’s appreciation of and preoccupation with Buddhism. (Perhaps, given my age, I was focused more then with the more prurient aspects of his work. As Erica Jong once put it, using somewhat faint [...]

If Siddhartha Didn’t Leave Home

Rohatsu Village Zendo Zen Zazen Meditation Jesse Jiry Davis Buddhism Buddha Enlightenment Siddhartha Leave Home Lion's Roar

As A. Jesse Jiryu Davis meditates on the anniversary of the Buddha's enlightenment, he finds a tender connection to the young man who said goodbye to everything. On December 8th I sat in meditation all night with my sangha, The Village Zendo. It's the Zen way to celebrate the anniversary of Buddha's enlightenment. It occurred to me some time in the middle of the night, that [...]

Zen Mountain Monastery abbot steps down

Ryushin Sensei Zen Mountain Monastery Abbot infidelity adultery resign step down

On Sunday, January 25th, Ryushin Sensei stepped down as abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery after it became known that he had been committing adultery for the previous six months. His resignation was requested by Shugen Sensei, the head of the Mountains and Rivers Order, to which Zen Mountain Monastery belongs. In a statement, Shugen Sensei wrote, in part: Ryushin’s infidelity – [...]

Zen teachers issue open letter confronting abuse

Zen Buddhist Teachers Open Letter Confronting Abuse Lion's Roar Buddhism Sexual Assault Eido Shimano

Following Buddhadharma's Winter 2014 cover story on abuse in Buddhist communities, 90 Zen teachers and community leaders have penned an open letter on the issue. As Zen teachers, we would like to express our gratitude for Buddhadharma's recent issue on abuse in Buddhist communities. We also appreciated Mr. Oppenheimer's piece in The Atlantic for "The Zen Predator of the Upper [...]

How Deep Is Your Love?

Death dying sickness love heart sutra jack haubner zen buddhism Lion's Roar

It isn't easy to offer spiritual comfort to a dying man when you can’t stop thinking about yourself. As Shozan Jack Haubner learned, sometimes you just have to fake it. The afternoon I was scheduled to meet the dying man, my laptop got stolen. The crime felt oddly intimate, as though a burglar had snuck into my bed one night and, without waking me, removed the underwear from [...]