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Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly Winter 2018

Buddhadharma offers in-depth teachings that reflect the wealth and range of Buddhist traditions, expert book reviews, and first-rate reporting on stories of special interest to Buddhists. It’s a precious resource for readers who want to deepen their understanding of Buddhist practice and philosophy.

Shambhala Sun Foundation
2 Issues

in this issue

3 min

PEMA KHANDRO RINPOCHE is a lineage holder in the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as one of the few Westerners recognized and enthroned as a tulku. She is the founder of the nonprofit organization Ngakpa International, and residential meditation communities in Virginia and California. She holds a master’s degree in Tibetan Studies and is completing a doctorate specializing in Tibetan Buddhism at the University of Virginia. RANDY ROSENTHAL is a recent graduate of Harvard Divinity School and the cofounding editor and publisher of the literary journals The Coffin Factory and Tweed’s Magazine of Literature and Art. His work has appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the New York Journal of Books. He teaches writing at Harvard. GESSHIN GREENWOOD is…

1 min
about the art

In “The Body Object Series” (pages 66, 72, and 78) ANN HAMILTON takes up inanimate objects and joins them to the body, changing both their function and how we relate to them psychologically. Known for her large-scale multimedia installations—often surprising combinations of object-making and performance—Hamilton has said, “[M]ore important than the things themselves is the way they come into relation.” She received the National Medal of Arts in 2015 and has taught at Ohio State University since 2001. TSHERIN SHERPA began studying traditional Tibetan thangka painting at the age of twelve with his father, a renowned thangka artist himself. After studying computer science and Mandarin in Taiwan, he returned to his birthplace of Nepal, where he collaborated with his father on several important projects, including monastery mural paintings. In 1998, he…

3 min
let’s continue aaron’s work

THESE WORDS ARE HERE because of Aaron, known to many as the Angry Asian Buddhist. He forged the path for their publication in this Buddhist journal, creating a place for them in the wider public discourse on Buddhism in the West. Blogging at Dharma Folk and Angry Asian Buddhist, Aaron J. Lee was steadfast in his nearly decade-long campaign to make visible the ongoing exclusion of Asian American Buddhists from the dominant conversation around American Buddhism. He was especially keen on holding popular Buddhist magazines accountable for positioning white Buddhists—who represent a minority of US Buddhists—as the norm while simultaneously excluding perspectives from Asian American Buddhists. In the guise of his pissed-off, Excel-wielding alter ego, arunlikhati, Aaron diligently detailed the extent of the displacement, poring over the latest Buddhist books and magazine…

7 min
ask the teachers

KEIRYU LIÊN SHUTT: I’ve heard it said by Zen teachers that the function of the mind is to secrete thoughts. From that perspective, “to rest in nonconceptual, open, ‘don’t know’ mind” isn’t so much to stop or transcend thinking as to simply let thoughts be “just thoughts” and to know that the mind is doing its thing. Thinking is simply what the mind does, in the same way that ears hear and eyes see. What we endeavor to stop is not thinking itself but the obsessive energy that gets caught up in the content of the thoughts. We practice to recognize thoughts as just another phenomenon arising. We practice to stop our belief in the solidity of our interpretation of our thoughts—our “story”—and the emotional patterns and judgments that often come…

9 min
enlightenment is a male fantasy

Do not aspire to great realization. Great realization is everyday tea and meals.—Dogen Zenji, Shobogenzo Gyoji I USED TO HATE ZEN. In fact, sometimes I still don’t really like Zen. My ex-boyfriend introduced me to Zen, and this is probably why I hated it so much. He was a lovely, idealistic, over-intellectual type who could not cook or clean, and his mom bought his clothes. He loved the koan of Nansen killing the cat. It goes like this: Some monks are arguing over a cat. The master, Nansen, holds up a cat and says to his monks, “If one of you can say a word, I’ll spare the cat. If not, I will kill it.” No one can say anything, and so he kills the cat. Later he tells this story to…

20 min
crisis in myanmar

THE SCRIPTURES OF JUDAISM, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam condone, justify, and even sometimes encourage the use of violence. In Buddhist texts, it’s just the opposite. Chapter 10 of the Dhammapada reads: “All tremble before violence. All fear death. Having done the same yourself, you should neither harm nor kill.” Another verse reads: “In this world hostilities are never appeased by hostility. But by the absence of hostility are they appeased. This is an interminable truth.” A line from the Metta Sutta reads: “Toward the whole world one should develop loving-kindness, a state of mind without boundaries—above, below, and across—unconfined, without enmity, without adversaries.” This principle of nonviolence, consistent throughout the Pali canon, is partly why many Buddhists are deeply troubled by the current situation in Myanmar—formerly Burma, a majority-Buddhist country—where,…