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Lion's Roar January 2021

The Lion's Roar celebrates the spirit of wakefulness wherever it appears - in the arts, relationships, politics, livelihood, popular culture, and all the challenges of modern life. It offers a Buddhist view for people of all spiritual traditions who are open, inquisitive, passionate and committed.

Shambhala Sun Foundation
$5.29(Incl. tax)
$26.47(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
more from lion's roar

50 YEARS OF ZEN MIND BEGINNER'S MIND In 1970 (and every year since!) Shunryu Suzuki Roshi's book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind introduced thousands of Americans to the practice and teachings of Zen Buddhism. In celebration of this landmark anniversary, we've joined with San Francisco Zen Center to produce a new online event featuring nine teachers in his tradition, including Norman Fischer, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Peter Coyote, and more. In a series of talks, they'll share stories of his life and his impact on American Buddhism, and his legacy of teachings, which live on in his students and the activities of the community he founded. learn.lionsroar.com GIFTS THAT UPLIFT If this season includes giving a gift or two (or ten …) consider a stop at the Lion's Roar Online Store. You' ll find a wonderful…

2 min
lead with love & wisdom

GREAT CRISES DEMAND profound change. That kind of change comes only from deep in our hearts and minds, from love and wisdom. Which means the profound change these times require, in each of us and in human society, must come through spirituality. It’s actually the only solution. You don’t need me to tell you that humanity has entered a period of existential crisis. We are experiencing a trifecta of climate change, the pandemic, and dark forces that have been unleashed around the world. I write this in the third week of October, and if the unthinkable happens on November 3 in the United States, then each of these crises will become exponentially worse. Four great moral leaders of our time—Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh, and His Holiness the…

7 min
a tale of two crises

I REMEMBER WHEN the pandemic was a novel event, the thing that was happening. My partner and I would urgently flutter around the house. We stocked up on Tylenol, checked our temperatures, traded rumors with the neighbors, and drove across town in search of yeast, toilet paper, and eggs. Our home was filled with the constant sound of handwashing, and at our nightly online meetings, three generations of our family would press faces to screens, trying to reach out to each other for comfort. We mourned those who had died while keeping a glance over our shoulder, sure we were next. This was long ago. Now corona is just the background while other things happen. We’ve settled in for this long season of mask-wearing and isolation. The dust bunnies in the…

4 min
white people, it’s time to look in the mirror

I AM A CRONE and was around the last time Black people were feared, and thus brought into white awareness. At times like these, white people, and white institutions, reach out to Black people they barely know or have forgotten about over time. As a crone, a Buddhist, and a practitioner of mindfulness, I choose to understand this reaching out toward us instead of reaching in to understand themselves. Reaching in is the first obligation of meditation practice. It is by this practice that I have found space and freedom. I have found a space—one not afforded to me as a Black, female body in this world—to discover my body, my breath, and the contours of my life. It has given me the opportunity to really see the ways in which…

5 min
how to become a bodhisattva

WHEN HE WAS ASKED recently what will happen after he dies, the Dalai Lama shrugged and said he didn’t know. But he prayed he’d be reborn wherever there is the most suffering. As I sat with this remarkable statement, it occurred to me that this is the bodhisattva’s way: to devote one’s life to the suffering of others, in all its forms, until it ends. Yet, you may have noticed that this noble response—the compassion at the heart of Buddhist wisdom—can easily remain an elusive goal. For many of us, there is a distressing, almost instinctual gap between how we wish to respond to suffering, and our habituated response. Informed by Buddhism and psychotherapy, I’d like to look at two obstacles to caring for your own and others’ suffering—withdrawal and disappointment—and how you…

3 min
which is the most difficult precept to keep?

The most difficult for me is the precept to refrain from killing. There’s a gatha I love so much by Thich Nhat Hanh: “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with the eyes of compassion.” For a long time, reciting these lines to myself, I interpreted “beings” to mean human beings. I never thought of the tiny insects I swatted or the well garnished corpses of turkeys, cows, and fish in my jollof rice. Compassion, however, opens us, pulls us out of delusion and absentmindedness. One night while eating mindfully, I began to ponder how self and fish inter-are. That led to dietary change. Nonetheless, every now and then, I still…