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The Buddhist Guide to

Mindfulness • What Mindfulness Is (and Isn’t) • How to Practice It • Mindfulness & Wisdom • Mindfulness in Action 20+ teachers, including: THICH NHAT HANH SHARON SALZBERG LAMA ROD OWENS JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN ANUSHKA FERNANDOPULLE CHÖGYAM TRUNGPA RINPOCHE

Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Books

LIVING AND DYING WITH CONFIDENCE 216 pages | $14.95 | ebook $9.99

HEART OF THE GREAT PERFECTION 344 pages | $19.95 | ebook $11.99

Ancient and rich teachings on death presented in a contemporary, accessible manner. Learn how embrace life, prepare for death, and awake to reality—one day at a time.

From B. Alan Wallace comes a translation of the revelations of Düdjom Lingpa, available for the irst time in English.

A BUDDHIST GRIEF OBSERVED 200 pages | $16.95 | ebook $9.99 “Newland faces squarely the pain of death and the pain of grief and offers a work of uncommon power, insight, and honesty—and extraordinary compassion.” —Jay L. Garield, author of Engaging Buddhism

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B. Alan Wallace

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108 METAPHORS FOR MINDFULNESS 200 pages | $16.95 | ebook $9.99

ZEN MASTER POEMS 152 pages | $14.00 | ebook $9.99

Memorable allegories to motivate practice, bring mindfulness to life, and help employ transformation.

From Dick Allen, a unique voice in American poetry evocative of Han Shan’s Zen verses, Pablo Neruda’s Book of Questions, and the writings of Jack Kerouac.

Formerly published under the title Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants.

THE KARMAPAS AND THEIR MAHAMUDRA FOREFATHERS 344 pages | $34.95 | ebook $19.99 Fascinating accounts of the lives of the Karmapas and of their forefathers in the Mahamudra practice lineage. Each story is accompanied by a beautiful, full-color illustration. | 1-800-272-4050 Wisdom is a 501(c)3 Â˜ÂœÂ˜ÂŤĂ€ÂœwĂŒÂœĂ€}>Â˜ÂˆĂ˘>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜Â°

Lesser-known stories from Sanskrit and Pali sources are for the first time woven into an entertaining and thought-provoking narrative that celebrates women’s crucial roles in the Buddha’s life. “An extraordinary book, following the life span of the Buddha, as the great and brave women who brought equality to the dharma shine through rare and rich stories of their lives. This is a radical and wondrous book, shedding a new and bright light on Buddhism.”—Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center

Thubten Chodron offers a commentary on one of the great Tibetan Buddhist poems, The Wheel of Sharp Weapons, which shows, clearly and practically, how to eliminate the causes of anxiety, fear, and depression and create the causes of joyful liberation for oneself and others. “Thubten Chodron’s commentary on Dharmarakshita’s Wheel of Sharp Weapons is a crash course on transforming pain and suffering into power tools for liberation.” —Chade-Meng Tan, Google’s Jolly Good Fellow, author of Search Inside Yourself

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Publications This is the first time the mind-training teachings from the Dzogchen tradition have been presented in English translation. The contemplations themselves are vividly described, and some unfold as dramatic stories in which the meditator imagines himself or herself as the main character. Eighteenth-century teacher Jigme Lingpa is one of the most important masters of the Nyingma tradition. He and the great fourteenth-century master Longchen Rabjam, with whom he was closely linked through visionary experience, are known as the “two omniscient masters, father and son.”

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Mindfulness in Action Making Friends with Yourself through Meditation and Everyday Awareness



The rewards of mindfulness practice are well proven: reduced stress, improved concentration, and an overall sense of well-being. But those benefits are just the beginning; it can also help us work more effectively with life’s challenges, expanding our appreciation and potential for creative engagement. In this online course, the practice of meditation will be accompanied by instructions for expanding awareness in everyday life, breaking down the boundary between meditation and non-meditation. This is a course for new meditators, for those who want to deepen their meditation practice, and for mindfulness trainers and teachers. The approach is based on the mindfulness teachings of ChÜgyam Trungpa, as presented in the recent release Mindfulness in Action.

Carolyn Gimian has been writing, editing, and teaching meditation and mindfulness for more than thirty-five years. A contributor to Mindful magazine, she teaches seminars on meditation and working with fear, including several she cotaught with Pema ChĂśdrĂśn. She is the editor of many books by ChĂśgyam Trungpa, including his Collected Works and most recently Mindfulness in Action.



BUDDHIST TEACHINGS ON MINDFULNESS This special issue brings together teachings on the philosophy and practice of mindfulness from contemporary masters of many traditions. 40 WHAT IS MINDFULNESS? Its depth and breadth in Buddhist philosophy. • Joseph Goldstein • Sylvia Boorstein • Barry Boyce • Bhante Henepola Gunaratana • Andrew Olendzki

48 HOW TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS Instructions in a variety of transformative practices. • Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche • Sharon Salzberg • Jack Kornfield • James Ishmael Ford • Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche • Born I Music


56 MINDFULNESS & WISDOM How the stable mind of mindfulness discovers the true nature of reality. • Ajahn Buddhadasa • Thich Nhat Hanh • Anushka Fernandopulle • Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche • Guo Go • Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi

62 MINDFULNESS IN ACTION Mindfulness and enlightened living. • Gaylon Ferguson • Gretchen Rohr • Lama Rod Owens • Edward Espe Brown

Cover photo: Meditating Buddha, Davaravati Period Wat Phra Mahathat, Chaiya, Thailand © Luca Tettoni/Bridgeman Images



FROM WHERE I SIT Why We Go For the Gun Greg Snyder


Q&A A Buddhist Fraternity? Delta Beta Tau’s Jeff Zlotnik


BODHISATTVAS The Stories We Tell Marina Cantacuzino



DEPARTMENTS EDITORIAL Mindfulness: It’s All Good Rod Meade Sperry


29 THIS DHARMA LIFE To Our Dear Friend Garry Brother Phap Hai

HOT OFF THE PRESS Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation By Rev. angel Kyodo williams and Lama Rod Owens, with Jasmine Syedullah, PhD





HEART & MIND Finding Clarity in Clutter Sylvia Boorstein


ADVICE FOR DIFFICULT TIMES A Gentle Goodbye James Ishmael Ford


SHARE YOUR WISDOM Where is the most unexpected place you’ve meditated? HOW TO PRACTICE Feeding Your Demons Lama Tsultrim Allione

84 FIND A CENTER 88 JUST SO Thich Nhat Hanh

FIND MORE ONLINE: LIONSROAR.COM VO LU M E O N E , N U M B E R 4 • Lion’s Roar (ISSN 2369-7997, USPS 009-651) is published bimonthly for $34 year USA, $44 Canada & $54 (US) International, by Lion’s Roar Foundation, 1790 30th St, Suite 280, Boulder, CO 80301 USA. Periodicals postage paid at Boulder, CO and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Lion’s Roar, PO Box 469095, Escondido, CA 92046-9095. Printed in U.S.A. © 2016 Lion’s Roar Foundation. All rights reserved. Canada Post Publication Mail Agreement #40018157. Canadian Postmaster: Send undeliverable copies to: 1660 Hollis St., Suite 701, Halifax, NS B3J 1V7 Canada.




13 23


20 BODHI CHATTER Dharma, pop culture, and good-natured gossip

36 BEGINNER’S MIND • Buddhism by the Numbers: The Four Negations • FAQs: Christian and Buddhist?, Buddhism’s Problems, A Modern Reading List • Who, What, Where: Sayadaw U Pandita

T HE P RACTICE OF P URE A WARENESS A Winter Meditation Intensive in Crestone, Colorado

DECEMBER 11 – JANUARY 8 Blazing Mountain Retreat Center Crestone, Colorado

The Somatic Practice of Pure Awareness is the simplest and most profound teaching in Tibetan Buddhism. In this month-long meditation intensive, we will learn and practice the training stages of Pure Awareness practice in the space of deep retreat. Within our own experience, we can access the well of wisdom and compassion that exists to be shared with a suffering world. Come for weekly segments or the full month.

W W W. D H A R M A O C E A N . O R G

NEIL MCKINLAY is a partner, parent, and senior teacher in the Dharma Ocean lineage. He XIEGLIW XLVSYKLSYX XLI 4EGM½G 2SVXL[IWX ERH PIEHWERERRYEPSRPMRIQIHMXEXMSRTVSKVEQ[MXL international participation.


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Fall Programs | 2016 Highlights residential retreats

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finding freedom in the body: mindfulness of the body as a gateway to liberation

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April 2017 – April 2018

Christiane Wolf, Marcy Reynolds

dedicated practitioners program kind awareness: the integration of metta and vipassana

April 2017 – April 2019 Sally Armstrong, Bonnie Duran, Ruth King, Tempel Smith

September 26 – October 2 Noah Levine, Vinny Ferraro, JoAnna Harper


reclaiming the wisdom of the mother of all buddhas: a women ’s retreat

wake up! parenting as a path of practice

October 3 –10

Will Kabat-Zinn,

Debra-Chamberlin Taylor, Joanna Macy,

Teresa LaMendola Kabat-Zinn

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natural radiance: the freedom of awareness

coming home to your body: mindful yoga and embodied meditation

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dharma in life: on and off retreat

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loving awareness: metta & qigong

shift happens: learning to bounce back from disappointment, difficulty, even disaster

October 1 – 2

November 6

Spring Washam, Teja Bel l

Linda Graham

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Mindfulness: It’s All Good like a simple concept, that’s true. Also, it’s not. In this issue of Lion’s Roar, you’ll find a number of definitions. In Joseph Goldstein’s teaching on page 42, for example, mindfulness is first defined as “the quality and power of mind that is aware of what is happening, without judgment and without interference.” This hews closely to the popular, secular conception of mindfulness. And it’s true. Then, in Goldstein’s next paragraph, we’re told that the Buddha himself said that mindfulness is “the path to enlightenment.” This is also true. In the end, whatever the goal of your practice—from “lower blood pressure” to “attainment of the Way”—mindfulness is about opening up to the world, cultivating peace, and choosing to tune in to reality rather than tune out. That’s why I’m sometimes astounded when I hear Buddhists decrying the popularization of mindfulness. Some, obviously, are worried about overcommercialization—a problem in nearly every facet of our society, granted. But when the concern is that those who take up secular mindfulness practice will never become Buddhists, well, so what? Buddhists shouldn’t want more Buddhists. Buddhists should want more enlightenment for more people. And enlightenment is hardly for only Buddhists. Our feeling here at Lion’s Roar is very much in line with the Buddha’s teachings on upaya, or “skillful means.” Boiled down, this means that it takes all kinds, so you share teachings accordingly, trying to deliver to people whatever works best for them. Some people will go all in and even become Buddhist monks or nuns. Most people won’t. But if the mindfulness teachings they IF “MINDFULNESS” SEEMS

read hit just right, they’ll all benefit. And they’ll benefit others in turn. It’s all to the good. In 1999, I bought a copy of the book Mindfulness in Plain English, by Bhante Gunaratana. (You’ll find a teaching by him on page 45.) It absolutely changed my life, setting me on the Buddhist path. I was still a young pup then, and I got all worked up about what I’d read. Before long I’d given copies to most of the people in my life. I can say for sure that they all loved it and took it to heart. How many of them became Buddhists? I’m confident the tally was zero. What I know now is that mindfulness, dharma, and Buddhism resonated with me because it told me a bunch of things I didn’t know and that I needed to hear. What I also know now is that I gave that book to those other people because it seemed to jibe with who they already were. My non-Buddhist mom, my nonBuddhist best friends: these people were more naturally inclined toward an enlightened view of the world than I’d ever been. With all that in mind, I hope this special issue about Buddhist teachings on mindfulness resonates with you and inspires you to practice. Though mindfulness is not the exclusive territory of Buddhism, it is, as our editor-in-chief, Melvin McLeod, puts it in the opening to these teachings, “the Buddhist specialty.” You’ll find twenty-something of the finest modern dharma teachers here, each with something different to say about it. May it all—or even just some of it—be of real benefit to you. — RO D M E A D E S PE R RY

Editor,; Deputy Editor, Lion’s Roar magazine




Become the leader the world needs now. Mindful. Engaged. Innovative. Imagine your day if your work aligned with your purpose. If you could meet stress gracefully. And if you could address challenges with humor and creativity. Imagine if you could inspire others to do likewise. Naropa University’s Authentic Leadership Program is an in-depth experiential course in mindfulness, authentic communication, and leading change. This summer program also includes a special track for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs.

January 17th-May 12th, 2017 16 weeks online and two five-day live workshops in Boulder, CO





Why We Go for the Gun GREG SNYDER

on how to reclaim the grace and humanity that our access to guns has led us to squander.

J U S T OV E R T W E N T Y Y E A R S AG O , a

friend was shot five times in the face a few feet in front of me. He was a music venue doorman, and earlier that night he had asked a young college student to leave for drunken, aggressive behavior. G R E G S N Y D E R is cofounder and dharma

teacher at Brooklyn Zen Center and a senior director of Buddhist Studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

The few words spoken by the shooter betrayed anger and humiliation, feelings he could not endure. So he used a pistol to unload them. This is the mundane reality of gun violence. It may seem obvious, but the majority of homicides result from escalating arguments in which feelings of humiliation and anger result in violence. In short: lives are being ended again and again because a person, almost always a

man, cannot tolerate the thoughts and sensations of his mind and body. Prior to Zen practice, I was often owned by rage. More than once, friends pulled me off another man after a switch flipped and destroying the perceived cause of my humiliation was the only reality in front of me. The walls of that closing, swirling tunnel always felt impenetrable. Fortunately in a fight there is room for grace to intervene in the form LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016




of a friend’s hand delivering an abrupt jolt to a locked mind. In a fight there is time for grace, time to wake up, time to consider how far things will ultimately go. Guns rob us of this grace. It is because of this theft of time and mind-space I feel strongly that we need stricter gun laws. Human beings should not be able to grab a gun when they’re at their worst. It is no kindness to anyone to grease the means for acting so absolutely when under the control of a fearful, angry, or humiliated mind. Looking at the bigger picture, Buddhist practitioners like myself should squarely face the many internalized ideologies of domination and humiliation that create a reality in which these kinds of absolute outcomes seem to make moral sense. We can certainly understand all of this in terms of greed, hate, and delusion—Buddhism’s “three poisons”—but spiritual terms are often too general to be useful in transforming our polity. It is imperative to the health of our society and planet that we rigorously unpack and speak to our specific expressions of greed, hate, and delusion. Where gun violence is concerned, we cannot ignore the logic of patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism. What these three ideologies share is an agreement that bodies—whether female,


brown/black, or labor—are material to be exploited and dominated. Through these frames, the world is divided into those who are entitled to dominate and those who are humiliated by domination. One may argue that these views exist in places without the same level of gun violence. That may be true, but our nation has always placed guns at the crux of the relationship of domination and humiliation. Consider how we acquired this land and the labor to cultivate it. Is there any more succinct symbol of the taking of America than the gun? When American myth, media, and entertainment hold up guns as the ultimate punctuation mark of all manifest destiny and revenge tales, is it any wonder why Americans might go for a gun? Though we occupy different positions, we have all, to greater or lesser degrees, internalized the logic of domination that patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism defend. For the Buddhist’s vow to do no harm to have real meaning in our world, we must engage systemic harm. This includes the systemic harm caused by unconscious identification with ideologies of domination. The Buddha was clear: thinking is action, and action has effects. Our unconscious beliefs were born of

ideologies that uphold and are upheld by our societal structures. Our beliefs support the continuity of those ideologies and—difficult as it is to admit—the violence that “makes sense” because of them. If we want this violence in our nation to end, each of us has to do the work of clarifying the ways we have internalized and normalized the lethal opposition of domination and humiliation in response to life. It’s the very logic that makes the gun an acceptable choice. This is not to say we should not work for legislative change, organize to reduce homicides and suicides in our communities, stand up to systemic violence and law enforcement abuses, critically engage our own consumption of violence as entertainment, and actively address our nation’s child-soldier problem (that is, gangs). But these efforts alone will not change the soil in which this violence grows. We must illuminate this culture of domination, grieve our shared karma, and introduce the sacredness of spirit and all life back into our nation. To do so, we will have to courageously witness the mind of domination that accepts gun violence. Our practice gives us what we need to wake up to this mind. We have only to turn our hearts toward the work. Until we do, little may change. ♦

BEYOND LOVE & HATRED After the early morning massacre that took place in Orlando on June 12, Buddhist figures and communities took to social media to offer comfort, support, and prayers. Bishop Kodo Umezu of the Buddhist Churches of America offered some timeless advice for keeping on when things are bleak.



and hatred. This is the Buddha’s realm; the realm of Enlightenment. Deeply grieving our condition, the Buddha urges us to listen to the Dharma and to hear the words from the world of true equality. Through this realization, we are able to see one another as fellow travelers on a journey to the world of true equality. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, we should live our lives with respect and kindness.


W H E N W E E NCO UNT E R tragic events such as this, we turn to the Buddha for guidance on how to live our lives without hating and harming each other. We recognize that the root of hatred is very difficult to identify. It comes from deep inside of our karmic consciousness. We live our lives based on emotions and feelings of love and hatred. This is the source of our daily actions. But there is a true and real realm beyond love


A Buddhist Fraternity? Delta Beta Tau cofounder J E F F Z L O T N I K on living the Greek life—for the benefit of all. What is Delta Beta Tau?

Why did you decide to start a fraternity?

Delta Beta Tau is a co-ed Buddhist fraternity at San Diego State University. The members are not necessarily Buddhist, nor is it our effort to make them Buddhist. Our intention is to use the teachings of the Buddha, specifically the six paramitas—generosity, morality, patience, diligence, concentration or meditation, and wisdom—as a basis so students can integrate these teachings into their lives. We’re open to all religions and open to everyone.

Six years ago we converted a back room in a store into a meditation zendo and hosted classes where we’d see lots of college students, so I would see the stress and pain they were going through. That’s part of college and growing up and maturing—I can appreciate that. But it doesn’t have to be so extreme. I realized these students were at a perfect place in their life to learn these teachings and it hit me that we should start a fraternity on campus. So we started Delta Beta Tau in 2015. We had 12 people our first meeting, and the next thing you know, we’re getting forty students. At the end of that semester, we announced we would start our inaugural pledge class, who would meet a second time each week and get involved with community service, prison outreach, homeless outreach, go on retreats, etc. We then initiated 32 students into Delta Beta Tau.

Has this ever been done before? From research and what I’ve been told, this is the first.


What has been your own journey with Buddhism and community? I got interested in Buddhism in college 21 years ago. I studied Zen for years and later moved to Taiwan and lived at a monastery in a Buddhist college. I’m not ordained; I really wanted to understand how to share the teachings of the Buddha in a Western culture. After 11 months, my teacher said, “How are you doing?” and I said, “I love it. You’re in robes. You don’t really have money, no wallet, no keys, no phone. Life is wonderful.” And she said, “Great, now it’s time for you to leave.” She realized the best way to integrate these teachings into Western culture was to come back and begin. I did, and at the end of 2006, we opened the Dharma Bum Temple in downtown San Diego, which is a bridge to introduce Buddhist practice to local folks. We’re not a specific lineage; I often use the phrase “training wheels”—we are a space with different classes in different Buddhist traditions to help those brand new to Buddhism get comfortable with the teachings.

What form does Delta Beta Tau take now? This fall, we’ll have our second pledge class and are looking at acquiring a house on campus for students to live in. We’ll also have meditations open to anyone.

What impact has Delta Beta Tau had on its members? After meditation, I’ll introduce a topic from the core Buddha teachings and students will share their thoughts on how it impacts their lives. They’ve been lectured at all day, so when you give them the topic of forgiveness or anger or compassion or generosity, their answers are beautiful. I’ve heard students talk about how stressed they are and how meditation class is the only time they slow down, or how instead of turning to bars or alcohol, they would rather come to sangha and meet with everybody else. How has it impacted you personally? How I’ve seen students’ lives transform continues to reinforce my own practice. When you see students cry and open up, though you’re the one holding the space for that to happen, it’s them making the group so special. To me, that’s what sangha is, that’s what fraternity is. I’m very hopeful that something like Delta Beta Tau can have a huge impact, not just in San Diego, but all over. ♦

Delta Beta Tau cofounder Jeff Zlotnik wasn’t in this photo of the 2015 inaugural pledge class— so he Photoshopped himself in. That’s him beaming happily in the middle of the group. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016






The Stories We Tell SERENIT Y RIDGE RETREAT CENTER Ligmincha International headquarters in Rural Nelson County, Virginia

UPCOMING RETREATS OCT. 12–16, 2016 ɬʂʍʍɸʆʕʓʆʂʕ̯ɺʉʆɶʓʂʄʕʊʄʆʐʇɩʉ̉ʅ ʇʓʐʎʕʉʆɨ̉ʏɳʐʕʉʆʓɺʂʏʕʓʂ ʘʊʕʉɺʆʏʛʊʏɽʂʏʈʚʂʍɸʊʏʑʐʄʉʆ


DEC. 27–JAN.1, 2016 ɽʊʏʕʆʓɸʆʕʓʆʂʕ̯ɺʉʆɫʙʑʆʓʊʆʏʕʊʂʍ ɺʓʂʏʔʎʊʔʔʊʐʏʐʇʀʉʂʏʈʀʉʖʏʈ̡ɶʂʓʕ̨ ʘʊʕʉɺʆʏʛʊʏɽʂʏʈʚʂʍɸʊʏʑʐʄʉʆ ̝ʑʓʆʓʆʒʖʊʔʊʕʆʔʂʑʑʍʚ̞ ɬɸɫɫɲɯɼɫɽɫɨɩɧɹɺɹɵɶɫɴɺɵɧɲɲ ʘʘʘ̣ʍʊʈʎʊʏʄʉʂ̣ʐʓʈ ɬɸɫɫɳɵɴɺɮɲɿɫ̢ɴɫɽɹɲɫɺɺɫɸ ʘʘʘ̣��ʐʊʄʆʐʇʄʍʆʂʓʍʊʈʉʕ̣ʐʓʈ ɵɸɪɫɸɨɵɵɱɹ ʘʘʘ̣ʍʊʈʎʊʏʄʉʂʔʕʐʓʆ̣ʐʓʈ

ɭɫɹɮɫɺɫɴʀɯɴ ɽɧɴɭɿɧɲ ɸɯɴɶɵɩɮɫ̡ fʐʖʏʅʆʓʂʏʅʔʑʊʓʊʕʖʂʍʅʊʓʆʄʕʐʓʐʇ

ɲʊʈʎʊʏʄʉʂɯʏʕʆʓʏʂʕʊʐʏʂʍ̡ʊʔʓʆʏʐʘʏʆʅ ʇʐʓʉʊʔʂʃʊʍʊʕʚʕʐʄʐʏʗʆʚ ʕʉʆʂʏʄʊʆʏʕ ʘʊʔʅʐʎʐʇɺʊʃʆʕʂʏɨ̉ʏ ɨʖʅʅʉʊʔʎʊʏ ʂʘʂʚʕʉʂʕʊʔʓʆʍʆʗʂʏʕ ʕʐɽʆʔʕʆʓʏ ʔʕʖʅʆʏʕʔ̣ɽʊʕʉʄʆʏʕʆʓʔ ʂʏʅʔʕʖʅʆʏʕʔ ʂʓʐʖʏʅʕʉʆʘʐʓʍʅ̡ʉʆ ʊʔʕʉʆʂʖʕʉʐʓʐʇ ʏʖʎʆʓʐʖʔʃʐʐʌʔ̡ ʊʏʄʍʖʅʊʏʈʉʊʔʍʂʕʆʔʕ̡ ɺʉʆɺʓʖʆ ɹʐʖʓʄʆʐʇɮʆʂʍʊʏʈ̣

a freelance journalist pushed by her editors to dig up the gory details of the events she was covering, Marina Cantacuzino was getting weary. But in 2003, while covering dark stories of retaliation and revenge following the Iraq War, she discovered different narratives emerging, ones that promised peaceful solutions. Realizing these were the stories she wanted to tell, Cantacuzino teamed up with photographer Brian Moody to create an exhibition called the “F-Word,” featuring first-person stories and arresting images exploring forgiveness in the face of atrocity. Launched in 2004, the exhibit has been displayed in more than five hundred venues around the world. “The reach was enormous,” says Cantacuzino. “It took my life in a totally different direction.” Inspired by this response, Cantacuzino, a practicing Buddhist for decades, founded The Forgiveness Project, a London-based charity that collects and shares stories of forgiveness. It has brought together perpetrators and victims from war zones across the globe and has gone into prisons to bring victims face-to-face with those who have committed similar acts. Cantacuzino says forgiveness is not for the faint of heart. “We haven’t sugarcoated forgiveness. Our approach is one of inquiry, inspiration, and examination, not one of preaching or proselytizing or persuading.” Cantacuzino acknowledges that forgiveness may have a dark side, such as AFTER YEARS AS


NOV. 3–6, 2016 ɺʊʃʆʕʂʏɨ̉ʏɿʐʈʂ̡ɶʂʓʕ̦

Whether we’ve been harmed or caused harm, forgiveness, says M A R I N A C A N TA C U Z I N O , can lead us to healing.

forgiving someone prematurely due to a sense of duty or spiritual obligation, or using it to “one-up” someone in an argument. When employed with understanding leading to empathy, she says the process of true forgiveness has many paths. “There’s no one way,” Cantacuzino says. The Forgiveness Project also explores injustice and forgiveness on a smaller scale. “We had an event with three big stories—one from Sandy Hook, one from 9/11, and one from the South African apartheid regime. But alongside those was a story about someone who had not spoken to his father for years because of being put through conversion therapy for being gay. People get something from the bigger stories, but everybody can relate to a family issue.” Cantacuzino says Buddhism is a complement to her work. “Another definition of forgiveness might be compassionate understanding, so in that sense I am trying to amplify peaceful solutions to hatred.” We can create deep change, she believes, by telling stories of forgiveness. ♦

Tell us about a bodhisattva you know at 18


FINDING FORGIVENESS Working toward forgiveness sometimes requires guidance. These Buddhisminspired teachings can help you find your way. BOOKS, AUDIO & FILM The Heart of the Revolution: The Buddha’s Radical Teachings on Forgiveness, Compassion, and Kindness by Noah Levine (HarperOne) The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace by Jack Kornfield (Bantam) Lessons for the Living: Stories of Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Courage at the End of Life by Stan Goldberg (Trumpeter) The Wisdom of Forgiveness by the Dalai Lama and Victor Chan (Riverhead) All the Rage: Buddhist Wisdom on Anger and Acceptance by Andrea Miller and editors of Lion’s Roar (Shambhala) Emotional Rescue: How to Work with Your Emotions to Transform Hurt and Confusion into Energy That Empowers You by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche (TarcherPerigee)


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Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child by Thich Nhat Hanh (Parallax) The Beginner’s Guide to Forgiveness by Jack Kornfield (Sounds True) Forgiveness: Stories of Our Time a documentary by Johanna Lunn (Wild East/NFB)

ON LIONSROAR.COM “The Power of Forgiveness” by Noah Levine “No Big Deal: On Metta & Forgiveness” by Heidi Bourne “Building a Community of Love” by bell hooks and Thich Nhat Hanh “Signs of Spiritual Progress” by Pema Chödrön LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016


BODHI CHATTER Dharma, pop culture, and good-natured gossip.

It took until twenty-nine years after his passing, but Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche has finally made his Tonight show debut. In June, Luke Wilson showed up to Jimmy Fallon’s set with a gift: a copy of The Pocket Chögyam Trungpa. Why? Because, Wilson insisted, the resemblance between Fallon and the late Buddhist teacher (and

Explore the human capacity for wakefulness, joy, and compassion

this magazine’s founder) is uncanny. “He’s a good-lookin’ guy,” he assured Fallon. Then the two started reading passages. What started off with an air of dubiosity ended up appreciative as Fallon and Wilson brought Trungpa Rinpoche’s famous exhortation to “smile at fear” to untold numbers of new ears. • • • The Dalai Lama, too, was highly visible in June. First, at an off-camera meeting with Barack Obama in the White House’s Map Room. China, unsurprisingly, was not pleased. Later in the month, the Dalai Lama appeared with Lady Gaga in a Facebook Live interview. China, again, was not pleased—and not just the government, but Gaga’s Chinese fans, who let fly thousands of harsh online comments. Then the government followed

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suit, banning the singer’s whole repertoire from being played in the mainland. Granted, her conversation with His Holiness was way out of line, touching on highly bannable themes like happiness, the mental health of young people, and suicide prevention. The Dalai Lama offered that since young people hold the future in their hands, they should eschew materialism and apply their energies elsewhere. “Paying more attention to inner values like love and compassion [is] the right approach,” he said. • • • Much less predictable than China’s reaction to the Dalai Lama’s presence was that of big-hitting Fox News host Bret Baier, who made an, um, interesting choice when presented with the chance to interview him: Baier asked His Holiness, several times, about Caddyshack. Had he ever seen the lowbrow comedy classic, with its famous riff by Bill Murray about caddying for the “Dalai Lamma, himself”? No. Had he ever played golf? Badminton, yes, but not golf. So, not golf? No. Baier seemed unashamed, presumably due to his subject’s equanimous response, as he wrapped the segment up: “I had to ask him,” he smiled. • • • Orange Is the New Black’s fans are thrilled



that the Netflix series is back for its fourth season. We are too, especially because Maria, played by our friend Jessica Pimentel, who’s been in Lion’s Roar a couple of times now, has gotten plenty more screen time. No spoilers, but Maria figures heavily in the season. So too does meditation and Buddhist (or at least “Buddhistic”) concepts, so don’t be surprised when you hear Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) say things like “Pain is always there. But suffering is a choice.” For more on Jessica Pimentel and her Buddhism, search her name on

This issue’s Dharma-Burger

By way of monk and sometime Lion’s Roar contributor Konchog Norbu comes this latest odd use of Buddhist terminology, in the form of the name of an infosite for seniors and caregivers. The site defines Samsara as “continuous movement which in turn relates to the cyclical journey of the soul between birth, life, and death,” but many Buddhists are more likely to think of the near-endless suffering (or at least dissatisfaction) inherent in our very existence, cyclical as it may be. As Konchog quips, “Someone’s gotta fire off a memo to their marketing department: We all already live there!” ♦








Finding Clarity in Clutter S Y LV I A B O O R S T E I N

that “tidying” is currently the subject of several bestselling books, I remembered with pleasure that one of the definitions the Venerable Mahathera offers for mindfulness is that it functions as a tidier of the mind. The contemporary books about tidying deal primarily with disencumbering closets and shelves of things one no longer needs. I also think of my mind as a repository of nonessentials, such WHEN I LEARNED

S Y LV I A B O O R S T E I N is a psychologist and

teacher of Insight Meditation. Her most recent book is Happiness Is an Inside Job.

on how cleaning out your closet can free up space in your mind. as timeworn grudges, outlived attachments, and out-of-date opinions that continue to bias my understanding without my knowing it. De-cluttering closets and minds are both spiritual practices that succeed when the attachments that create confusion are made conscious. I keep a magnet reminder on my refrigerator door that says, “The sweater in your closet that you have not worn in a year is not yours. It belongs to a homeless person waiting for you to return it to them.” So each time I decide, “I don’t need this. I can give it away,” I am

practicing nonattachment. I rediscover the joy of not needing. How many of anything do I actually need? How many pairs of socks do I really need, given that I do laundry once a week? Do I really need the sweatshirt with the cute logo on it, just because my adolescent child gave it to me as a Valentine’s Day gift forty years ago? Do I need the contents of numerous plastic bags of half-knitted sweaters that I might someday finish? Wouldn’t they better serve as gifts, with extra yarn and needles, to the knitting group at the seniors’ residence nearby? I once had a reel-to-reel tape of a LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016





conversation that my mother and Aunt Celia had fifty-nine years ago when my son Michael was born. Every time I go through certain old boxes I lament, once again, that I lost it. Extra suffering! Not having the tape is the same as having it. I remember what they said. I hear them in my mind. I am happy when I think of them. I do not need the tape. Here are some questions you might ask yourself when considering items in your closet—or opinions in your mind:

Is this still useful to me? Do I use it regularly? I gave my sewing machine to my neighbor’s daughter because I no longer make my own clothing. When I have a need to repair something, she does it for me. Or I take it to the dry cleaning store, because they do repairs. I just gave up riding my bike, so I gave all my biking clothing and gear to the bike store, which passes them along to people who can’t afford them. (I did keep one pair of pants and shoes, just in case.)

How would I feel if I gave it away? If I give away items of clothing I rarely wear, or those I need to lose ten pounds to wear again, I will feel better about helping other people and not be reminded of my attachment to how much I weigh.



If I erase the opinion that people who vote as I do are better people than people who vote differently, I could skip the addendum on the thought, “Here comes my cousin whom I love, even though she votes wrong” and think, “Here comes my cousin whom I love.” That would feel better. If I give up saying the word “should” and use “I wish” in its place, I’d be a happier person. When “I wish I had remembered to return her call” replaces “I should have phoned her back,” I avoid feeling guilty and am inspired to phone now. “I wish the world had rallied to the cause of healing the environment earlier” replaces negative thoughts about who is responsible with a personal intention to act for the good.

Be attentive to moments in which you feel you have everything you need. Notice moments when you feel at ease, safe, contentedly alert in your situation, and aware that your mind is free of tension because it does not need for anything to be different. These moments are affirmations of the Buddha’s third noble truth: “Peace is possible.” Usually these are plain moments in my day, like finishing washing the dishes or drinking coffee and watching the sun rise. Walking my dog yesterday, I noticed that the magnolia tree down the street is about to bloom. I felt I had more than I needed. ♦

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A Gentle Goodbye on the toughest call a pet lover will have to make.



Question: I’m aware of the Buddhist exhortation not to kill, but my cat’s health is declining and there’s no doubt his pain can only be managed for so long. When, if ever, is it okay to put your pet down, and how do you work with it when the time comes?

Answer: These days, when our pets live well beyond what used to be normal, the chance of having an aging pet who is near death and in pain is pretty good. My spouse, Jan, and I have had cats who died at home of natural causes, but more than a couple of times we’ve had to hold a beloved cat as the veterinarian administered the fatal dose. That trip to the vet is especially hard. If we didn’t find ourselves crying at the very moment, the tears came soon after. I feel that when we take on the responsibility of loving and caring for an animal companion, it is for a lifetime. And I

hope that as Buddhists we’re also conscious of the precept not to kill. However, neither commitment means that the end must be a time of unnecessary suffering. Euthanasia literally means “a gentle and easy death.” One of the obligations we undertake in accepting a relationship with a pet is to be honest with ourselves when the end is near and their suffering is obvious, and to live up to one more responsibility: to call the end. Consulting with your vet, having the people who should be there present, and with or without tears, ending the untenable hurt of our animal companion is more than just our moral obligation. It is the great mess, the mix of joy and sorrow, the play of karma, the fullness of our lives. ♦ J A M E S I S H M A E L F O R D is guiding teacher

of Boundless Way Zen. His most recent book is If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break.

Send your question to LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016






To Our Dear Friend Garry BROTHER PHAP HAI

and thousands of meditation practitioners who have spent time in our mountain sanctuary, every patch of earth, every tree, every rock here at Deer Park Monastery holds a memory, a story. As I walk around, often I recall our dear friend Garry Shandling, the funny, complicated, profound man whom I am proud to call brother. Garry came into my life close to two decades ago, when he helped found Deer Park, a monastery in Escondido, California, under the spiritual guidance of the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh (affectionately referred to as “Thay”). Garry visited and practiced here on numerous occasions and had a very deep connection with Thay and the brothers and sisters of our community. In person, Garry was kind, humble, and real. He put you at ease immediately and had the most penetrating insight. The last time we saw Garry in person was a few months back, when he traveled to San Francisco to visit Thay, who was recuperating after his stroke. Garry was a profoundly spiritual seeker who was always looking for ways to become just a little more open, a little more present, a little more available. A journal entry of Garry’s sums up how I experienced him: “Give more to others. Get outside ‘yourself.’ Keep your heart open and have fun. Keep mind clear. Make it fun for them. Open heart, kindness, truth, compassion. Follow your instincts.” AFTER SIXTEEN YEARS


shares the inside story of the late comedian Garry Shandling’s commitment to Buddhism. Although Garry had been dealing with health issues in recent years, his sudden passing came as a shock even to those closest to him. Having had the privilege to practice with Garry, I attended his private cremation and was invited to share a few thoughts during his public memorial at the Wilshire Ebell hotel in Los Angeles. More than five hundred well-known comedians, actors, and politicians attended the memorial. Each of the speakers shared what we all felt: that we were Garry’s family, and that we had all felt so loved and cared for by him. He was always there for us. He never said no. I was the nineteenth speaker. I shared

a few of my personal thoughts of Garry and read a message from the Plum Village International community: “I can guess what you must be thinking: what on earth is a Zen Buddhist monk doing onstage at Garry Shandling’s memorial? Good question. Garry’s work was to bring healing to the world through laughter and comedy; he brought healing to himself through his sincere spiritual practice. “Before I continue, I feel I have to circle back to the comment that was made at the beginning of the evening that Buddhism doesn’t work. I couldn’t agree more! As a wise person once said: ‘Buddhism promises nothing and delivers exactly that.’ “We sat in meditation with Garry, we walked with him, his laughter echoed among our mountains. We scrubbed pots with him, we shared from the heart, and we cried with him. In Zen, one of the highest compliments we can offer a person is to share that they are a Real Human Being. This describes Garry perfectly. He was always there for me, and for each of us, in so many ways—and I am proud to call him my friend and my brother. “In 2003, Garry traveled to Washington, D.C. to introduce Thich Nhat Hanh before Congressional members, and he said that all of his comedy springs from his meditation practice. Garry joked, ‘Thich Nhat Hanh is a special man who has helped millions with their suffering through LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016




teaching them mindfulness. But he doesn’t know real suffering, because he hasn’t dated as much as I have.’ “Afterward, as he sat quietly drinking tea, Thich Nhat Hanh turned to him and said, ‘Garry, you really know how to work a room!’ “This wise, humble, warm, compassionate, and funny man is deeply missed. In the dining hall of our monastery is one of my teacher’s calligraphies. It reads: “The tears I shed yesterday have become rain.” This is the feeling I carry in my heart this evening as I look around this room and see each of you, and the way that Garry is continuing in you.” I would like to end by sharing a message from the Plum Village International Community: “Our beloved brother, “Back to Mother Earth’s embrace you return. There is truly no coming, and no going.


“Your heart full of humor and charm continues now in the wild yellow dandelions and the gentle white clouds rejoicing in the coming of the spring. We will always be grateful for the depth of your meditation practice and for all of the help and sacrifices you made to help our community establish Deer Park Monastery, which is now a place of refuge for thousands of people. “We remember when you appeared in front of the San Diego city planning council to champion for our teacher, and how the council members were moved and charmed by your love and support for our community, saying that it was a blessing for the city and state to have such a gentle group of peace-loving monks and nuns who want to reside there and make their home. “You even gave them many of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books and encouraged them to read them because they helped change your life. You eloquently introduced Thay

at the Library of Congress during our visit to the US Congress. “We see you sitting with Thich Nhat Hanh on the mountaintop drinking tea and enjoying a moment of silence and rest. We still hear the echoes of your laughter among the sagebrush. “Now, the children and coyotes, the sage bush and granite boulders, the clear starlit sky and the radiant sunrise all have a place, a home for refuge, thanks to your effort. “You also continue in these beautiful things: our laughter, our tears, our joy and freedom, our gentle steps and peaceful breath. “You go nowhere. You are within each one of us and now you are everywhere. “You have arrived. You are home. “In love and gratitude, “Your brothers and sisters of Plum Village International.” ♦ Brother Phap Hai is the author of Nothing to It: Ten Ways to Be at Home with Yourself (Parallax).

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Where is the most unexpected place you’ve meditated?

It’s not uncommon to hear sighs of impatience, frustration, and/or anxiousness in long security lines at the airport. I like to offer metta, to be a compassionate and loving presence for myself and others I encounter on the journey. —Brenda Salgado, in Denver awaiting my flight home I sat zazen at my father’s hospital bedside after he had a heart attack. Because the EMTs took 20 minutes to arrive and revive him, his brain was irreparably damaged and he was in a coma. I started counting my breaths in the way I’d been taught by Taizan Maezumi-roshi thirty years earlier, and, not long after, my father began thrashing around, grimacing in agony, arching his back as if he was trying to climb out of his body. I ran to the nurse’s station but was told, “Oh, he does that all the time,” so I returned to my father’s bed, pet his head, kissed him, told him that it was OK to leave his body, and that I would take care of the love of his life, my mother Leslie. Eventually, my father slipped back into unconsciousness. He died about a week after that. The whole experience was traumatic for my whole family, but my daily practice helped me touch ground, even in Hell. —Steve Silberman, San Francisco

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THE BOOK INITIATIVE One year at Christmas time, I got a great deal on a hotel room in Las Vegas. While John slept in, I went in search of coffee and found a Starbucks among the slots. As I waited for my coffee, I found the cacophony of the slots to be a perfect meditative vehicle. —Julie Robinson, Ridgecrest, California I was at a campground in North Georgia and was bitten on the foot by a copperhead snake. I couldn’t walk, so campers helped me into a wheelbarrow. I meditated in the wheelbarrow and then in the car to the hospital. I healed completely, and learned going barefoot in the woods is not wise when one is not mindful! —Tommy Housworth, Decatur, Georgia

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In my early twenties, I lived in Florida and had a succession of jobs. At one, in a mortuary, I took out the dead flowers and vacuumed the long red carpet. I was alone all day—except for the occasional mourner visiting a beloved’s ashes. My meditation was to dance to the little radio on my hip. My teacher had told me if I could dance there, I could dance anywhere! —V. Grace Abraham, Ruckersville, Virginia

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Feeding Your Demons teaches you an innovative technique to turn your inner demons into friends.



rather than fighting them contradicts the conventional approach of fighting against whatever assails us. But it turns out to be a remarkably effective path to inner integration. Demons (maras in Sanskrit) are not bloodthirsty ghouls waiting for us in dark corners. Demons are within us. They are energies we experience every day, such as fear, illness, depression, FEEDING OUR DEMONS

L A M A T S U LT R I M A L L I O N E is the found-

er of the Tara Mandala retreat center in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and author of Feeding Your Demons (Little, Brown).

anxiety, trauma, relationship difficulties, and addiction. Anything that drains our energy and blocks us from being completely awake is a demon. The approach of giving form to these inner forces and feeding them, rather than struggling against them, was originally articulated by an eleventhcentury female Tibetan Buddhist teacher named Machig Labdrön (1055–1145). The spiritual practice she developed was called Chöd, and it generated such amazing results that it became very popular, spreading widely throughout Tibet and beyond.

In today’s world, we suffer from record levels of inner and outer struggle. We find ourselves ever more polarized, inwardly and outwardly. We need a new paradigm, a fresh approach to conflict. Machig’s strategy of nurturing rather than battling our inner and outer enemies offers a revolutionary path to resolve conflict and leads to psychological integration and inner peace. The method that I have developed, called Feeding Your Demons™, is based on the principles of Chöd adapted for the Western world. Here is an abbreviated version of the practice. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016




5 Steps of Feeding Your Demons

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Make your practice your life! MAITRIPA COLLEGE | PORTLAND, OREGON



STEP 1: FIND THE DEMON IN YOUR BODY After generating a heartfelt motivation to practice for the benefit of yourself and all beings, decide which demon you want to work with. Chose something that feels like it is draining your energy right now. If it’s a relationship issue, work with the feeling that is arising in you in the relationship as the demon, rather than the other person. Thinking about the demon you have chosen to work with, perhaps remembering a particular incident when it came up strongly, scan your body and ask yourself: Where is the demon held in my body most strongly? What is its shape? What is its color? What is its texture? What is its temperature? Now intensify this sensation.

STEP 2: PERSONIFY THE DEMON Allow this sensation, with its color, texture, and temperature, to move out of your body and become personified in front of you as a being with limbs, a face, eyes, and so on. Notice the following about the demon: size, color, surface of its body, density, gender, if it has one, its character, its emotional state, the look in its eyes, something about the demon you did not see before. Now ask the demon the following questions: What do you want? What do you really need? How will you feel when you get what you really need? STEP 3: BECOME THE DEMON Switch places, keeping your eyes closed as much as possible. Take a moment to


settle into the demon’s body. Feel what it’s like to be the demon. Notice how your normal self looks from the demon’s point of view. Answer these questions, speaking as the demon: What I want is…. What I really need is…. When I get what I really need, I will feel… (Take particular note of this answer.) STEP 4: FEED THE DEMON AND MEET THE ALLY Take a moment to settle back into your own body. See the demon opposite you. Then dissolve your own body into nectar. The nectar has the quality of the feeling that the demon would have when it gets what it really needs (i.e. the answer to the third question). Notice the color of the nectar. Imagine this nectar is moving toward the demon and nurturing it. Notice how the demon takes it in. You have an infinite supply of nectar. Feed the demon to its complete satisfaction and notice how it transforms in the process. This can take some time. Notice if there is a being present after the demon is completely satisfied. If there is a being present, ask it: “Are you the ally?” If it is, you will work with that being. If it is not, or if there is no being present after feeding the demon to complete satisfaction, invite the ally to appear. When you see the ally, notice all the details of the ally: size, color, surface of its body, density, gender (if it has one), its character, its emotional state, the look in its eyes, something about the demon you did not see before.

When you really feel connected with the energy of the ally, ask these questions: How will you help me? How will you protect me? What pledge do you make to me? How can I access you? Change places and become the ally. Take a moment to settle into the ally’s body and notice how it feels to be in the ally’s body. How does your normal self look from the ally’s point of view? When you are ready, answer these questions, speaking as the ally: I will help you by… I will protect you by… I pledge I will… You can access me by… Take a moment to settle back into your own body and see the ally in front of you. Look into its eyes and feel its energy pouring into your body. Now imagine that the ally dissolves into light. Notice the color of this light. Feel it dissolving into you and integrate this luminosity into every cell of your body. Take note of the feeling of the integrated energy of the ally in your body. Now you, with the integrated energy of the ally, also dissolve.

STEP 5: REST IN AWARENESS Rest in whatever state is present after the dissolution. Pause until discursive thoughts begin again, then gradually come back to your body. As you open your eyes, maintain the feeling of the energy of the ally in your body. ♦ Feeding Your Demons™ is a process created and developed by Lama Tsultrim Allione. © Tara Mandala. For further information and training in Feeding Your Demons, go to LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016




We answer your questions about Buddhism & meditation.


1. 2. 3. 4.

Not real. Not unreal. Not both real and unreal. Not neither real nor unreal.

Another way we can look at reality is as one (or “oneness” in spiritual terms), as many separate things, or as any combination thereof. So the four negations are: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Not one. Not many. Not both one and many. Not neither one nor many.

You can practice Madhyamaka by studying its logical arguments why any assertions about the nature of reality are self-defeating. You can also use it as a kind of koan practice. Accept, for the sake of argument, that things are not real, unreal, both, or neither. Contemplate where that leaves you. In either case, the Middle Way philosophy cuts through conceptualization and points you directly to the true nature of reality. 36



ACCO R DI N G TO MAHAYA N A Buddhism, any concepts we have about the basic nature of reality are incomplete, inaccurate, and in fact block our direct experience of things as they really are. The Middle Way (Madhyamaka) philosophy pioneered by the Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna (2nd–3rd century CE) uses reason to negate our mistaken concepts about reality. Take a pair of opposites, such as real and unreal. Madhyamaka logic looks at four possibilities—that things are either real, unreal, both, or neither—and refutes them in turn. So in this case, the four negations are:

A recent editorial in Lion’s Roar said there is no God in Buddhism. I am a practicing Christian who has recently become interested in Buddhism. Does this mean I can’t be both a Christian and a Buddhist? People of many different religions—and none at all—find Buddhist meditation techniques and philosophy helpful to their spiritual lives. Obviously there’s no problem with that. But your question about whether you can be both a Christian and a Buddhist is more challenging. It probably comes down to your conception of God. Buddhism is defined as a nontheistic religion, which means that it denies any kind of separate creator. So if you see God as an omnipotent, external being, it’s going to be hard to reconcile that with the Buddhist view that mind alone is the cause and answer to suffering. But many Christian practitioners have a less anthropomorphic view of God. They see God not as an external creator but as universal love, wisdom, and sacredness, the basic ground of the universe, as much inside as outside us. If that’s your experience of God, then you may find, as Thomas Merton and other Christian contemplatives have, that God and Buddha are merely two names for the same ineffable spiritual reality.


I’m interested in all the ways people apply Buddhism’s ancient teachings to their lives today. Any book recommendations? Being that the Buddha so prized the idea of skillful means, it’s not surprising that many who follow him are able to talk about how the dharma fits our circumstances and predilections today. There are seemingly countless examples out there, but here are some of our favorites: Brave Parenting: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Raising Emotionally Resilient Children, by Krissy Pozatek; The Buddha Walks Into the Office: A Guide to Livelihood for a New Generation, by Lodro Rinzler; Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth About Reality, by Brad Warner; How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers, by Toni Bernhard; Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden, by Karen Maezen Miller; Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Jasmine Syedullah; Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addiction, by Noah Levine; Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea, by Jaimal Yogis; and Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, by Natalie Goldberg—which may well have inspired a lot of the books on this list!

I find that Buddhism has many of the same problems as other organized religions. How do I work with the reality that Buddhists don’t always practice what they preach? It’s never helpful to romanticize a religion. Admittedly, it’s painful having to reconcile the difference between Buddhism’s beautiful values and some of its systemic and individual realities. And it’s particularly challenging when this involves teachers whom we are asked to revere. How, to cite an all-too-common example, can a teacher be realized if he is guilty of sexual misconduct? Buddhism suffers to some degree from the same problems as all human institutions: sexism, racism, corruption, and materialism—in a word, ego. Buddhism’s historical record is better than some other world religions—no crusades or inquisitions—but sadly Buddhists are now driving ethnic conflicts in Myanmar and elsewhere in South Asia. Denial is tempting, but it’s only by acknowledging these realities—and working sincerely to uphold Buddhism’s values in your own life and practice—that change can happen. ♦

Tell us what you’d like to know about Buddhism and meditation at



W H O ? W H AT ? W H E R E ?

SAYADAW U PANDITA BURMESE MEDITATION MASTER Sayadaw U Pandita, who died in April at 94, played an important role in the development of the vipassana (Insight) meditation movement in the West. Born in 1921 in Rangoon (now Yangon) during British colonial rule, U Pandita entered Mahabodhi Monastery at seven. He began practicing vipassana in 1950 under the guidance of Mahasi Sayadaw, whose style of practice became popular in Asia and the West. U Pandita gained his Dhammacariya (dharma teacher) degree in 1952, and started teaching at the Mahasi Meditation Center three years later. He would become head abbot after Mahasi’s death in 1982. U Pandita taught a rigorous and precise method of self-examination emphasizing Buddhist ethics as a foundation of vipassana practice. U Pandita became an influential teacher in the West after conducting a three-month silent retreat in 1984 at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. IMS cofounder Sharon Salzberg says, “He absolutely brought out my best effort, no holding back, and revitalized my meditation practice.” U Pandita’s talks at IMS were later collected in the book In This Very Life: Liberation Teachings of the Buddha. Among his meditation students was Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he supported spiritually during her long period of house arrest. In 1991, U Pandita founded the Panditarama Meditation Center in Yangon, with centers in the U.S., Britain, Australia, Singapore, and Nepal. He was the abbot in Yangon at the time of his death. His funeral rites were attended by followers from across the globe. *In our last issue we moved Tassajara Zen Mountain Center about 150 miles north. It is in Carmel Valley, south, not north, of San Francisco.








Brad Warner Moved to Africa as a child, then back to Ohio. Got deeply involved in the hardcore punk scene there as the bass player for Zero Defex, whose big song was “Drop the A-Bomb On Me.” At Kent State University, I took a class called Zen Buddhism because I couldn’t find a class about Hinduism. I made zazen a daily practice because it made so much sense. Made a bunch of indie-label records that got critical acclaim but no sales. Moved to Japan, not for Zen but to teach English, since I was broke. Worked for a company that made deliciously bad monster movies (which I loved). Found a Zen teacher in Tokyo named Gudo Nishijima. He talked me into taking dharma transmission. Wrote a book about that. Moved to Los Angeles, which is more foreign to an Ohioan than Japan. Wrote more books. Travel all the time and teach all over the place. I still have no idea what I’m doing, but I keep on doing it anyway. ♦ B O R N I N O H I O.



What is your practice tradition? Soto Zen.

Primary teachers? Tim McCarthy and Gudo Nishijima.

Favorite meditation practice? Shikantaza—“just sitting.” It’s all I do.

What is your current project? My new book, Don’t Be A Jerk, just came out. So I’m on the road talking about that. Every year I go to Europe for about two months to give talks and lead retreats. It keeps me out of trouble. Mostly.

Recommended dharma books? Mine! Ha! Honestly, if I didn’t like my own writing I wouldn’t write. So I do recommend them, even though that seems a bit self-serving. I also like Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind, anything by Dainin Katagiri, anything by Shohaku Okumura, and Dogen, though he is very hard to read.

Your favorite virtue? In other people? Honesty, I suppose. That seems to take care of pretty much everything else.

Your principal poison? Greed, hatred, and delusion. The yummiest poisons of all!

Your idea of happiness? Years ago DEVO was asked that and one of them said, “A totally healthy and successful bowel movement.” I’ve always liked that answer. Not because it’s gross, but because it points out that normal things you do every day (hopefully) are a real source of happiness that we often overlook.

The natural talent you’d most like to have? I used to joke that I was a “man of useless talents.” I can do a lot of things naturally, just not very well. I’m an OK bass player, a decent guitarist, an OK cartoonist, an adequate writer. I feel like if I had any other “natural talents,” I’d just squander those too.

What’s for dinner? I’m a vegetarian but a bad cook. Luckily I live right down the street from LA’s best Indian veggie restaurant, Samosa House.

Guilty pleasure? I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate me.



Buddhist Teachings on


Mindfulness is many things: a natural capacity of our mind, a beneficial practice for daily life, and an important part of many spiritual traditions. Buddhists have been practicing mindfulness since the Buddha first taught his disciples to place their attention on their breath and footsteps 2,600 years ago. It is the foundation of the path to enlightenment. Mindfulness is the Buddhist specialty. This special issue of Lion’s Roar surveys Buddhist teachings on the philosophy and practice of mindfulness by contemporary masters of many traditions.

1. What is Mindfulness? Its depth and breadth in Buddhist philosophy.

2. How to Practice Mindfulness Instructions in a variety of transformative practices.

3. Mindfulness & Wisdom How the stable mind of mindfulness discovers the true nature of reality. PHOTOS © JO HN BIGELOW TAYLO R

4. Mindfulness in Action Mindfulness & enlightened living. May these teachings bring you concentration, calm, and insight. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016


1 . W H AT I S M I N D F U L N E SS? Joseph Goldstein • Sylvia Boorstein • Barry Boyce • Bhante Henepola Gunaratana • Andrew Olendzki

Mindfulness and the Path to Enlightenment Instead of letting your mind wander aimlessly, what if you set it on the path to awakening? That, JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN tells us, is what the Buddha said mindfulness is really about. M I N D F U L N E S S I S T H E K E Y to the present moment. Without it we simply stay lost in the wanderings of our minds. Tulku Urgyen, the great Dzogchen master of the last century, said, “There is one thing we always need and that is the watchman named mindfulness—the guard who is always on the lookout for when we get carried away by mindlessness.” Mindfulness is the quality and power of mind that is aware of what’s happening, without judgment and without interference. It is like a mirror that simply reflects whatever comes before it. It serves us in the humblest ways, keeping us connected to brushing our teeth or having a cup of tea. It keeps us connected to the people around us, so we’re not simply rushing by them in the busyness of our lives. The Buddha also spoke of mindfulness as being the path to enlightenment: “This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearing of pain and grief, for the attainment of the Way, for the realization of nirvana.” We can start the practice of mindfulness meditation with the simple observation and feeling of each breath. But after just a few breaths, we hop on trains of association, getting lost in plans, memories, judgments, and fantasies. This habit of wandering mind is very strong, even though our reveries are often not pleasant and sometimes not even true. As Mark Twain so aptly put it, “Some of the worst things in my life never happened.” So we need to train our minds, coming back again and again to the breath, simply beginning again. Slowly, our minds steady and we begin to experience some space of inner calm and peace. This makes possible a deeper investigation of our thoughts and emotions. What is a thought—that strange, ephemeral phenomenon that can so dominate our lives? When we look directly at a thought, we see that it is little more than nothing. Yet when it is unnoticed, it wields tremendous power. Through mindfulness, we gradually awaken from the movies of our minds. What, too, is the nature of emotions—those powerful energies that sweep over our bodies and minds like great breaking waves? In a surprising way, mindfulness and the investigation of emotions begin to deepen our understanding of selflessness. 42


We see that the emotions themselves arise out of conditions and pass away as the conditions change, like clouds forming and dissolving in the clear open sky. As the Buddha said to his son, Rahula, “You should consider all phenomena with proper wisdom: ‘This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.’” On the subtlest level, we learn not to identify with consciousness itself, cutting through any sense of this knowing faculty as being “I” or “mine.” As a way of cultivating this radical transformation of understanding, I have found it useful to reframe meditation experience in the passive voice; for example, the breath being known, sensations being known, thoughts being known. This language construction takes the “I” out of the picture and opens us to the question “Known by what?” And rather than jumping in with a conceptual response, the question can lead us to experience directly the unfolding mystery of awareness, moment after moment. It is not a question of whether unwholesome mind states will arise in us. Feelings of hatred, enmity, fear, self-righteousness, greed, envy, and jealousy all do arise at different times. Our challenge is to see them all with mindfulness, understanding that these states themselves are the cause of suffering and that no action we take based on them will lead to our desired result—peace in ourselves and peace in the world. The method is mindfulness, the expression is compassion, and the essence is wisdom. Wisdom sees the impermanent, ephemeral nature of experience and the basic unreliability of these changing phenomena. Wisdom opens our minds to the experience of selflessness, the great liberating jewel of the Buddha’s enlightenment. This understanding, in turn, engenders a compassionate engagement with the world. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, a great Tibetan master, taught: “When you recognize the empty nature, the energy to bring about the good of others dawns uncontrived and effortless.” Wisdom reveals that nonclinging is the essential unifying experience of freedom. It is both a practice to cultivate and the nature of the awakened mind itself. ♦ J O S E P H G O L D S T E I N is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society

in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the resident guiding teachers.

It’s All Good SYLVIA BOORSTEIN celebrates mindfulness as both the key to Buddhist practice and beneficial to every

aspect of human life. as both a valuable ego skill for daily life and as an integral part of the Buddha’s eightfold path. I don’t think of it as either/or. I can’t imagine any wholesome activity that wouldn’t be enhanced by mindfulness. As U Sivali, a Sri Lankan monk, said to me in a practice interview soon after I began meditating, “Every single moment of mindfulness erases a moment of unconscious habit.” At the same time, I love teaching mindfulness as the central practice (between effort and concentration) of the Buddha’s eightfold path to free the mind from all its habits of suffering. The eightfold path begins with ethics practices— wise action, wise speech, and wise livelihood—that are designed to inhibit the arising of impulses that lead to behavior that causes suffering if they remain unconscious. The path ends with wise understanding and wise intention—the awareness of the fundamental truths that everyone suffers, and that kindness is a redemptive response. The three middle components of the path—wise effort, wise mindfulness, and wise concentration—support and depend on each other. Let’s imagine it this way: mindfulness, the balanced, nonreactive recognition of moments of experience as they arise, is able to evaluate responses. Wise effort is the habit of choosing, at every notable juncture, what the texts refer to as wholesome responses. Think of concentration as ballast for the mind, a steadI T E AC H M I N D F U L N E SS

iness that protects it from being overwhelmed by experience. The eightfold path is the conclusion of the Buddha’s four noble truths, the summary of his liberating understanding. Life experience is challenging, he explained, because of its very nature of temporality. Circumstances keep changing, and human beings are vulnerable to loss and disappointment. Suffering, he taught, is the imperative in the mind that things be different from how they are. The end of suffering, he promised, the absence of that imperative, is possible. The eightfold path is his formula for cultivating a mind that is able, through wisdom and kindness, not to insist that things be different than they are. In the opening statement of the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha’s teaching on the four foundations of mindfulness, he says, “This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and of lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for the attainment of nirvana.” Although I cannot imagine how the complete disappearance of pain and grief would feel, I am reinspired in my mindfulness practice every time I hear these words. ♦ S Y LV I A B O O R S T E I N is a psychologist and a leading teacher of

Insight Meditation. Her bestselling books include Pay Attention, for Goodness’ Sake and Happiness Is An Inside Job.

Beyond Words Whether you look at mindfulness from a Buddhist or secular perspective, says BARRY BOYCE , your actual experience of it will transcend concepts. B E F O R E I E V E R H E A R D the word “mindfulness,” I had already been struggling with meditation for a while—squirming, itching, twitching, griping, always wondering why I continued to do something that caused such grief. My late Buddhist teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, talked about meditation as giving a cow—our restless mind—a spacious pasture to graze in. He contrasted this with trying to achieve a restful state, which is a setup. That approach treats meditation as a war with the restless mind and promotes suppressing thoughts and emotions. In his teachings on meditation, Trungpa Rinpoche coupled the one-pointed focus of mindfulness with the spacious, panoramic quality of awareness. Mindfulness sees the flower precisely and awareness takes in the surrounding trees, underbrush, sun, and sky. Mindfulness and awareness do not compete. When we sit in meditation, we follow our breath precisely and simultaneously allow ourselves to experience everything happening in our body,

mind, and the surrounding environment. When we’re dealing with mundane things, it’s hard enough to grapple with what semanticists call category problems (an NBA playoff and hopscotch are both called games, but the differences outweigh the similarities). When we’re talking about qualities of mind and practices to cultivate them, it’s incredibly easy to get tied in knots. Things got messy for mindfulness once Thich Nhat Hanh and Jon Kabat-Zinn popularized the term. Some Buddhists lament this development, feeling the meaning has been weakened and cheapened. But let’s face it, words expand their meanings sometimes. Good luck trying to put that genie back in the bottle. Mindfulness now has several meanings for a broader public. It refers to the simple practice of meditation that focuses on an anchor such as the breath. More important, it refers to a way of being that comes naturally (but can be cultivated through the practice of meditation) and that also encompasses qualities such LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016


as panoramic awareness and compassion. It refers to this practice and way of being without it necessarily being part of Buddhism. Mindfulness is now practiced in many contexts where religious teaching is not permitted—schools, hospitals, police stations, companies. It’s often said that in these contexts, people are using a practice “derived from Buddhism.” While this may be accurate, it’s a subtractive way of looking at things. It implies that mindfulness is Buddhism with a lot of other stuff taken away. Mindfulness is a basic human capability that predates and transcends Buddhism. It is indeed the backbone of the wide spectrum of methods used in Buddhist traditions of every stripe. And, yes, the rich and varied cultural and spiritual traditions of Buddhism have been the stewards of this powerful practice,

making use of it in myriad ways and calling it by many names in many languages. In the end, though, for any person, Buddhist or not, the meaning of mindfulness will come down to an experience that cannot be communicated adequately in words. In the same way that Buddhism has exploited mindfulness for its many and varied paths, now the secular world is offering people in many different walks of life the opportunity to discover the one-pointed attention and spaciousness that many of us found within Buddhism. If they are taught well and practice with diligence, who knows where it may lead? ♦ B A R R Y B OY C E is the editor-in-chief of Mindful magazine and editor of the book The Mindfulness Revolution.

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness BHANTE GUNARATANA summarizes the Buddha’s seminal teachings on the practice of mindfulness. the Buddha exhorted his senior bhikkhus, monks with the responsibility of passing his teachings on to others, to train their students in the four foundations of mindfulness. “What four?” he was asked. “Come, friends,” the Buddha answered. “Dwell contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, unified, with concentrated one-pointed mind, in order to know the body as it really is. Dwell contemplating feeling in feelings… in order to know feelings as they really are. Dwell contemplating mind in mind… in order to know mind as it really is. Dwell contemplating dhamma in dhammas [phenomena]… in order to know dhammas as they really are.” By asking us to practice mindfulness of the body, the Buddha is reminding us to see “the body in the body.” We should recognize that the body is not a solid unified thing, but rather a collection of parts. Remembering that the body is composed of many parts helps us see “the body as body”—not as my body or as myself, but simply as a physical form like all other physical forms. Like all forms, the body comes into being, remains present for a time, and then passes away. Since it experiences injury, illness, and death, the body is unsatisfactory as a source of lasting happiness. Since it is not myself, the body can also be called “selfless.” When mindfulness helps us recognize that the body is impermanent, unsatisfactory, and selfless, in the Buddha’s words, we “know the body as it really is.” Similarly, by asking us to practice mindfulness of feelings, the Buddha is telling us to contemplate “the feeling in the feelings.” These words remind us that, like the body, feelings can be subdivided. We regard feelings in this way to help us develop a simple nonjudgmental awareness of what we are experiencing. As we watch each emotion or sensation as it arises, remains present, and M O R E T H A N 2 , 6 0 0 Y E A R S AG O,


passes away, we observe that any feeling is impermanent. Since a pleasant feeling does not last and an unpleasant feeling is often painful, we understand that feelings are unsatisfactory. Seeing a feeling as an emotion or sensation rather than as my feeling, we come to know that feelings are selfless. Recognizing these truths, we “know feelings as they really are.” The same process applies to mindfulness of mind. Although we talk about “the mind” as if it were a single thing, actually mind or consciousness is a succession of particular instances of “mind in mind.” Paying attention to the way each thought arises, remains present, and passes away, we learn to stop the runaway train of one unsatisfactory thought leading to another and another and another. We gain a bit of detachment and understand that we are not our thoughts. In the end, we come to know “mind as it really is.” By telling us to practice mindfulness of dhammas, or phenomena, the Buddha is not simply saying that we should be mindful of his teachings, though that is one meaning of the word dhamma. He is also reminding us that the dhamma we contemplate is within us. The history of the world is full of truth seekers. The Buddha was one of them. Almost all sought the truth outside themselves. Before he attained enlightenment, the Buddha also searched outside himself. He was looking for his maker, the cause of his existence, whom he called the “builder of this house.” But he never found what he was looking for. Instead, he discovered that he himself was subject to birth, growth, decay, death, sickness, sorrow, lamentation, and defilement. And when he looked outside himself, he saw that everyone else was suffering from these same problems. This recognition helped him see that no one outside himself could free him from his suffering. Only when he began to search inside did he find the answer. Then he said: LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016


Many a birth I wandered in samsara, Seeking but not finding the builder of this house. Sorrowful is it to be born again and again. Oh! House builder thou art seen. Thou shall not build house again. All thy rafters are broken. Thy ridgepole is shattered. The mind has attained the unconditioned. ♦

B H A N T E H E N E P O L A G U N A R ATA N A is the president of the

Bhavana Society in High View, West Virginia, and the author of the bestselling book Mindfulness in Plain English. This article was adapted from The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English, with permission of Wisdom Publications.

All of the Above to understand what mindfulness is, from a classical Buddhist perspective, is to recognize some of the things it is not. Mindfulness does not just mean being aware or being conscious, because one is always conscious when not comatose or dead. Consciousness is the fundamental quality of mind, understood as an event that occurs rather than a thing that exists. As such, it is always present when any kind of experience takes place. If mindfulness meant to be aware, then we would always be mindful, automatically, in all circumstances. Mindfulness does not just mean attention, because we are always paying attention. Attention is the mental factor that gathers all the other mental factors together and directs them to a single object, bringing coherence and focus to each mind moment. Our attention may wander from one object to another, and it may be unable to stay on the same object for multiple moments in a row, but it is always directed somewhere. Mindfulness does not mean paying attention in the present moment, because all mind moments occur in the present moment. How could it be otherwise? It is not possible to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch an object in anything but the present moment. Mental objects like thoughts can take their content from the past (a memory) or the future (an imagination), but the process of thinking about the past or future always occurs in the present moment. When people talk about being aware in the present moment, they really just mean either getting out of the mind door and attending to one of the senses or being aware of the act of thinking without getting caught up in the content of the thought. Nor can mindfulness be adequately identified as paying attention on purpose, or as we might put it, being conscious consciously. The difference between conscious awareness and unconscious awareness is the presence of the mental factors “applied thought” and “sustained thought.” The first allows the mind to be directed to an object that is chosen by volition, and the second means we are able to hold our attention on the object of our choosing. Meditation training usually involves the intentional directing and sustaining of attention in various ways, which develops the skill of concentration, P E R H A P S T H E B E S T WAY



but not all meditation is mindfulness meditation. It is important to recognize that each of the mind states mentioned so far is ethically neutral and can be used for harm or good. Many of the ways we misbehave involve attention, volition, and concentration, and these same functions are at work when we are acting benevolently. Let’s turn now from what mindfulness isn’t to what it is in the context of Buddhism. Every moment of consciousness is accompanied by an emotional response, and this is where mindfulness is properly situated on the Buddhist maps of experience. Mindfulness is a quality of emotional response, a particular intentional stance and attitude toward the object of experience that shapes and textures how it is experienced by consciousness. Mindfulness is an inherently wholesome or healthy mental factor, so it cannot function at any moment when the mind is under the influence of greed or hatred, even in their mildest versions of favoring and opposing. Anytime you want or don’t want things be a certain way, the mind is not being mindful. Mindfulness requires a thoroughgoing equanimity. This does not mean you don’t care or are indifferent to what is happening, only that the mind is evenly balanced and fully aware of things exactly as they are, without the desire to change them by favoring one thing or opposing another. Mindfulness is a mind state that is engaged with the object of attention, but that engagement is disengaged from craving. One breathes mindfully, not wanting the breath to be long or short but just being aware of it as it is. One walks mindfully, back and forth, with no desire to get somewhere, simply noticing the nuanced textures of physical sensations arising and passing away in the body. Mindfulness is thus all of the above—awareness, with attention, in the present moment, on purpose—with the important addition: and with an attitude or intentional stance of nonattached equanimity. ♦ A N D R E W O L E N D Z K I , PhD, is the former executive director of the

Insight Meditation Society and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, as well as the author of the forthcoming book Untangling Self.


You can’t reduce mindfulness to just a single idea. ANDREW OLENDZKI unpacks its many meanings in classical Buddhism.


2 . H OW TO P RACTICE MINDFULNE SS Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche • Sharon Salzberg • Jack Kornfield James Ishmael Ford • Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche • Born I Music

The Basic Instruction SAKYONG MIPHAM on when to sit, where to sit,

and what to do when you get there. we are trying to achieve a mind that is stable and calm. What we begin to discover is that this calmness or harmony is a natural aspect of the mind. Through mindfulness meditation practice we are just developing and strengthening it, and eventually we are able to remain peacefully in our mind without struggling. Our mind naturally feels content. I N M I N D F U L N E S S M E D I TAT I O N ,

Creating a Favorable Environment for Mindfulness Meditation When you create the right environment, it’s easier to practice. It is good if the place where you meditate, even if it’s only a small space in your apartment, has a feeling of upliftedness and sacredness. It is also said that you should meditate in a place that is not too noisy or disturbing, and you should not be in a situation where your mind is going to be easily provoked into anger or jealousy or other emotions. If you are disturbed or irritated, then your practice is going to be affected. Beginning the Practice I encourage people to meditate frequently but for short periods of time—ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes. If you force it too much, the practice can take on too much of a personality. Training the mind should be very, very simple.



meditation cushion should find a comfortable position with legs crossed and hands resting palm-down on your thighs. The hips are neither rotated forward too much, which creates tension, nor tilted back so you start slouching. You should have a feeling of stability and strength. When you begin a meditation session, you can spend some initial time settling into your posture. You can feel that your spine is being pulled up from the top of your head so your posture is elongated, and then settle. We use this posture in order to remain relaxed and awake. Gaze For strict mindfulness practice, the gaze should be downward and focusing a couple of inches in front of your nose. The eyes are open but not staring; your gaze is soft. You are purposefully ignoring what is going on around you. You are putting the horse of mind in a smaller corral.

So you could meditate for ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening, and during that time you are really working with the mind. Then you just stop, get up, and go. When you sit down, you can remind yourself, “I’m here to work on my mind. I’m here to train my mind.” It’s okay to say that to yourself when you sit down, literally. We need that kind of inspiration as we begin to practice. Posture The Buddhist approach is that the mind and body are connected. The energy flows better when the body is erect, and when it’s bent, the flow is changed and that directly affects your thought process. We’re not sitting up straight because we’re trying to be good schoolchildren; our posture actually affects the mind. People who need to use a chair for meditation should sit upright with their feet touching the ground. Those using a



Thoughts No matter what kind of thought comes up, you should say to yourself, “That may be a really important issue in my life, but right now is not the time to think about it. Now I’m practicing meditation.” It gets down to how honest we are, how true we can be to ourselves, during each session. Through the labeling process, we see our discursiveness. We notice that we have been lost in thought, we mentally label it “thinking”—gently and without judgment—and we come back to the breath. When we have a thought, we just let it go and come back to the breath, come back to the situation here. What we are talking about is very practical. Mindfulness meditation practice is simple and completely feasible. And because we are working with the mind that experiences life directly, just by sitting and doing nothing, we are doing a tremendous amount. ♦ S A K Y O N G M I P H A M R I N P O C H E is holder of the Buddhist and Shambhala lineages of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and author of several books, including Ruling Your World.


Breath When we do mindful practice, we learn to recognize the movement of the mind, which we experience as thoughts. We do this by using an object of meditation to provide a contrast or counterpoint to what’s happening in our mind. Using the breath as the object of meditation is particularly helpful because it relaxes us. The feeling of the breath is very important. The breath should not be forced; you are breathing naturally. The breath is going in and out, in and out. With each breath you become relaxed.

Cultivate the Good The historical Buddha taught mindfulness as a method to reduce harm and increase benefit. Best of all, says SHARON SALZBERG , he said we can all do it. we say, “Sit like a mountain. Sit with a sense of strength and dignity. Be steadfast, be majestic, be natural and at ease in awareness. No matter how many winds are blowing, no matter how many clouds are swirling, no matter how many lions are prowling, be intimate with everything and sit like a mountain.” This is an image of equanimity. We feel everything, without exception, and we relate to it through our own strength of awareness, not through habitual reactions. Practice sitting like a mountain sometime, allowing all images and feelings and sensations to come and go, as you reside in steadfastness, watching it all arise and pass away. This passage is one of my favorites from the Buddha’s teaching: S O M E T I M E S I N T E A C H I N G M E D I TAT I O N



Abandon what is unskillful, One can abandon the unskillful, If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do so. If this abandoning of the unskillful would bring harm and suffering, I would not ask you to abandon it. But as the abandoning of the unskillful brings benefit and happiness, Therefore, I say, “Abandon what is unskillful.” Cultivate the good, You can cultivate the good. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. If this cultivation of the good would bring harm and suffering, I would not ask you to cultivate it. But as the cultivation of the good brings benefit and happiness, Therefore, I say, “Cultivate the good!” I think this beautifully exemplifies the extraordinary compassion of the Buddha. The mind of the Buddha sees not good and bad people, but suffering and the end of suffering, and exhorts those heading toward suffering through greed or anger or fear to take care, to pay attention, to see how much more they are capable of, rather than condemning them. He sees those heading toward the end of suffering through wisdom and loving-kindness and rejoices for them. It is a passage that inspires our sincere efforts. In the end, these ideas of how to live a better life aren’t something to admire from afar or hold in an abstract way. We

need to experiment with them, breathe life into them, see how they affect our minds and hearts, and see where they take us. Turning our lives in the direction of kindness can be done. It can only bring benefit and happiness. I can do it. You can do it. Otherwise, the Buddha would not have asked us to do so. ♦ S H A R O N S A L Z B E R G is one of the founders of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. This article is adapted from her book The Kindness Handbook, with permission of Sounds True.

How RAIN Can Nourish You JACK KORNFIELD teaches us a transformative mindfulness practice. reject experience. It lets experience be the teacher. With mindfulness, we can enter the difficulties in our life and find healing and freedom. There are four principles for mindful transformation of difficulties that are taught in Western mindfulness retreats with the acronym (coined by Michele McDonald) called RAIN. RAIN stands for Recognition, Acceptance, Investigation, and Non-Identification. This acronym echoes the Zen poets who tell us “the rain falls equally on all things.” Like the nourishment of outer rain, the inner principles of RAIN can transform our difficulties. MINDFULNESS DOES NOT

Recognition Recognition is the first step of mindfulness. When we are stuck in our life, we must begin with a willingness to see what is so. It is as if someone asks us gently, what is happening now? Do we reply brusquely, “Nothing”? Or do we pause and acknowledge the reality of our experience, here and now? With recognition we step out of denial. Denial undermines our freedom. The diabetic who denies his body is not free. Neither is the driven, stressed-out executive who denies the cost of her lifestyle, or the self-critical would-be painter who denies his love of making art. The society that denies its poverty and injustice has lost a part of its freedom as well. With recognition our awareness becomes like the dignified host. We name and inwardly bow to our experience: “Ah, sorrow; and now excitement; hmm, yes, conflict; and yes, tension. Oh, now pain, yes, and now, ah, the judging mind.” Recognition moves us from delusion and ignorance toward freedom. “We can light a lamp in the darkness,” says the Buddha. We can see what is so.

Acceptance Acceptance allows us to relax and open to the facts before us. It is necessary because with recognition, there can come a subtle aversion, a resistance, a wish it weren’t so. Acceptance does not mean that we cannot work to improve things. But just now, this is what is so. In Zen they say, “If you understand, things are just as they are. And if you don’t understand, things are still just as they are.” Acceptance is not passivity. It is a courageous step in the process of transformation. It is a willing movement of the heart to include whatever is before it.



Investigation In recognition and acceptance we recognize our dilemma and accept the truth of the whole situation. Now we must investigate more fully. Buddhism teaches that whenever we are stuck, it is because we have not looked deeply enough into the nature of the experience. Buddhism systematically directs our investigation to four areas that are critical for understanding and freedom. These are called the four foundations of mindfulness: body, feelings, mind, and dharma, the underlying principles of experience. Here is how we can apply them when working with a difficult experience. Starting with investigation in the body, we mindfully locate where our difficulties are held. In the second foundation of mindfulness, we can investigate what feelings are part of this difficulty. Next comes the mind. What thoughts and images are associated with this difficulty? What stories, judgments, and beliefs are we holding? The fourth foundation to investigate is called mindfulness of the dharma. In mindfulness of the dharma we look into the principles and laws that are operating. We notice if it is selfconstructed. We investigate whether we are clinging to it, resisting it, or simply letting it be. We see whether our relationship to it is a source of suffering or happiness. And finally, we notice how much we identify with it. This leads us to the last step of RAIN, non-identification.

Nonidentification In nonidentification we stop taking the experience as me or mine. We see how our identification creates dependence, anxiety, and inauthenticity. In practicing non-identification, we inquire of every state, experience, and story, is this who we really are? We see the tentativeness of this identity. Instead of identification with this difficulty, we let go and rest in awareness itself. This is the culmination of releasing difficulty through RAIN. Buddhism calls non-identification the abode of the awakening, the end of clinging, true peace, nirvana. When we meet the world with recognition, acceptance, investigation and non-identification, we discover that wherever we are, freedom is possible, just as the rain falls on and nurtures all things equally. ♦ J AC K KO R N F I E L D is a founding teacher of both Insight Meditation

Society and Spirit Rock Meditation Center. His most recent book is Bringing Home the Dharma.

Sit Down, Shut Up, Pay Attention Succinct guidance from JAMES ISHMAEL FORD for a more spacious, peaceful life. I F I N D T H E P R A C T I C E of sitting down, shutting up, and paying attention is the most useful path to a more healthy life. It will help you find peace and sometimes open you up to everdeeper possibilities.

Sit Down The Buddha told us there are four postures suitable to meditation: standing, walking, lying down, and sitting down. They all work. They all have a place. That said, for most of us it seems best to begin the practice by sitting down. Taking our place this way establishes our intention and allows us to focus on the basics of the practice. Just sit. If you can hold your body upright, it is better. You can sit on the floor on a pillow or on a chair. Whichever you chose, it helps to have your bottom a bit higher than your knees. This establishes a triangular base that supports your torso. Pushing the small of the back slightly forward and holding the shoulders slightly back helps create that upright position. Place your hands in your lap. In Zen, we like to sit with our eyes open. Some traditions prefer to close the eyes. Experiment a little. Find what seems to work best for you. Personally, I like to see where I’m going.


Shut Up For the most part, we are running a steady commentary on life. We’re judging, we’re refining, we’re planning, we’re regretting. We tend to run tape loops around anger or resentment, around desire and wanting, around how we think things are or are supposed to be. What if we just shut up? The invitation here is not to put a complete stop to our thoughts, whether they’re those old tape loops or more creative and possibly even useful thoughts. Truth is, stopping all thought is a biological impossibility. But we can slow it down. We can stop our thoughts and feelings from grabbing us by the throat. Pay Attention But pay attention to what? Our minds can wander, and wildly. We plan and we regret; we wish for something else. We rarely are simply present. So, how to deal with it? Here’s a start. Take five breath cycles, putting a number on each inhalation and exhalation, counting one as you inhale, two as you exhale, and so on to ten. The invitation here is to notice. When you don’t notice—and realize you

don’t notice—return to one. Don’t blame yourself. Just return to one. Don’t blame something else. Return to one. Just notice. Just pay attention. Or you allow your attention to ride on the natural breathing without counting. Or you can just pay attention. Perhaps you’re stressed. Perhaps you have some burning question about life and death. Perhaps you intuit there is something more to all this than you’ve been told. Sit down. Shut up. Pay attention. You never know what it will reveal. ♦ J A M E S I S H M A E L F O R D is guiding teacher of Boundless Way Zen

and the author of several books, including Zen Master WHO?

One-Shot Mind In the Vajrayana tradition, says CHÖGYAM TRUNGPA RINPOCHE , mindfulness of mind means relating to one little dot of nowness after another. W H E N Y O U S I T A N D M E D I TAT E , you are there: you are being

with your body, with your sense of life or survival, with your sense of effort, and at the same time, you are being with your mind. Mindfulness of mind suggests a sense of presence and a sense of accuracy in terms of being there. The whole process is a very simple matter. It concerns you and your world. Nothing else. It does not particularly concern enlightenment, and it does not particularly concern metaphysical comprehension. In fact, this simple matter does not particularly concern the next minute, or the minute before this one. It only concerns the very small area where we are now. Really, we operate on a very small basis. We think we are great, broadly significant, and that we cover a whole large area. We see ourselves as having a history and a future, and here we are in our big-deal present. But if we look at ourselves clearly in this very moment, we see we are just grains of sand—just little people concerned only with this little dot which is called nowness. We can only operate on one dot at a time, and mindfulness of mind approaches our experience in that way. We are there and we approach ourselves on the very simple basis of that. That does not particularly have many dimensions, many perspectives; it is just a simple thing. Relating directly to this little dot of nowness is the right understanding of austerity. And if we work on this basis, it is possible to begin to see the truth of the matter, so to speak—to begin to see what nowness really means. In sitting practice, or in the awareness practice of everyday life, for that matter, you are not trying to solve a wide array of problems. You are looking at one situation that is very limited.

It is so limited that there is not even room to be claustrophobic. If it is not there, it is not there. You missed it. If it is there, it is there. That is the pinpoint of mindfulness of mind, that simplicity of total up-to-dateness, total directness. Mind functions singly. Once. And once. One thing at a time. The practice of mindfulness of mind is to be there with that one-shot perception, constantly. You get a complete picture from which nothing is missing: that is happening, now that is happening, now that is happening. There is no escape. Even if you focus yourself on escaping, that is also a one-shot movement of which you could be mindful. Things always happen one at a time, in a direct, simple movement of mind. Therefore, in the technique of mindfulness of mind, it is traditionally recommended that you be aware of each single-shot perception of mind as thinking: “I am thinking I hear a sound.” “I am thinking I smell a scent.” “I am thinking I feel hot.” “I am thinking I feel cold.” Each one of these is a total approach to experience—very precise, very direct, one single movement of mind. Things always happen in that direct way. That one-shot reality is all there is. There is only the one shot; everything happens only once. There is just that. ♦ C H Ö G YA M T RU N G PA R I N P O C H E (1939–1987) was the author of such classics as Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. He was the founder of this magazine. This article is adapted from his book The Heart of the Buddha, with permission of Shambhala Publications.

Teaching Mindfulness to Young People BORN I MUSIC (Ofosu Jones-Quartey) on how he brings mindfulness to life for his students. I never had the experience of looking at my mind—much less dealing with the myriad arisings of pleasure, pain, and neutrality that come when we observe ourselves. So my early years of meditation practice were difficult. When we get older, the prospect of observing the mind and body and their processes can become daunting, so there’s real value in sharing the Buddha’s four foundations of mindfulness with people when they’re younger. I have been teaching mindfulness meditation to people between the ages of two and twenty for more than a decade, and these are some techniques that I’ve found work. W H E N I WA S Y O U N G ,



Sound Here’s a little immersion into the present moment via the gateway of sound. I begin by asking students to close their eyes so their other senses become more robust. After a bit, I invite them to gently bring their attention to whatever sounds are present in the room. Gradually, their awareness rises of the sounds happening around them: shuffling feet, giggles from those who find the practice a little weird, the clearing of a throat, voices in the distance, cars coming and going, and so on. I usually end the practice by whistling or ringing a bell, asking the class to raise their hands when they can no longer

Ofosu Jones-Quartey, known also as the rapper and musical artist Born I Music, has taught meditation to toddlers, young adults, and all ages in between. Here he leads the proceedings at a family meditation retreat at the Insight Meditation Community of Washington.


hear the sound. Then I ask them to open their eyes and share their experience. It’s fun to watch them recognize their ability to tune into the world around them and to notice the rising and falling of each moment. In their daily lives, sound is an excellent way for them to come back to themselves if they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, or they just need a moment to pause. Breath Breathing is something that happens to us on its own. So I always tell young students that breathing is nature’s way of saying that we belong here. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing it! In classes that I teach in schools, I use the breath as a traditional mindful anchor. I encourage the students to use tonal breathing in the first few breaths: taking deep breaths and letting out a big ahhhh the first two or three times, then bringing their attention to their breathing as they let it happen naturally. I ask them to close their eyes and either rest a hand on their belly or simply tune into the rising and falling of their breath wherever it’s most apparent to them, whether it’s their chest, stomach, nose, or mouth. They rest their attention there and notice how the chest and belly expand and contract with each

in- and out-breath. If their minds wander, they can gently return to the breath. Many of our students report feeling much calmer and more alert after doing this practice. “Finger Breathing” In this exercise, the students hold out their left hand and, with their right pointer finger, trace around each left-hand finger. Each time they trace upward, they breathe in; each time they trace downward, they breathe out. By the time they’ve done the whole left hand they’ve taken five focused breaths, then they trace in reverse to make it ten. This is something they can practice discreetly by putting their left hands on their laps and tracing and breathing at any point during the day when they need to focus, come back to the moment, or relax. I always close by telling students, “You are enough.” In a world that tells us otherwise, mindfulness shows us very clearly that we have the tools to take control of our happiness and help create happiness for others. ♦ B O R N I M U S I C (Ofosu Jones-Quartey) is an Insight Meditation and mindfulness teacher, a recording artist, and a father of four. He lives with his family in the Washington, D.C., area. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016


3 . M I N DF ULNESS A N D WIS DOM Ajahn Buddhadasa Thich Nhat Hanh Anushka Fernandopulle Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche Guo Go Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi


Simple As 1, 2 AJAHN BUDDHADASA’s “Condensed Method” summarizes the Buddhist path in two steps.

1. Practice with the breathing until a certain level of concentration and calm is achieved. 2. Open the awareness to whatever arises in the mind–body process and see that it is all impermanent, unsatisfactory, and lacking an essential self. ♦

As quoted in Larry Rosenberg’s book Breath by Breath. A J A H N B U D D H A D A S A (1906–1993) was one of

Thailand’s most influential Buddhist teachers. His books include Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree and Mindfulness with Breathing. This brief teaching of his is quoted in Larry Rosenberg’s book, Breath by Breath.

Three Doors to Liberation Mindfulness practice, says THICH NHAT HANH, opens these three doors to freedom.

of liberation are emptiness, signlessness, and aimlessness. Contemplating these three profound truths can help liberate us from fear and suffering. They are our doorways to freedom. Living mindfully and with concentration, we see a deeper reality and are able to witness impermanence without fear, anger, or despair. THE THREE DOORS

Emptiness Emptiness is not a philosophy; it is a description of reality. When we look into a beautiful chrysanthemum, we see that everything in the cosmos is present in that flower—clouds, sunshine, soil, minerals, space, and time. The flower can’t exist by itself alone. Everything inside us and around us, and we ourselves, are only empty of one thing: a separate independent existence.



The simplest description of emptiness in the Buddhist teachings is this sentence: This is because that is. A flower cannot exist by itself alone. To be can only mean to inter-be. Everything else is present in the flower; the only thing the flower is empty of is itself. Looking in this way, we begin to see that everything has the nature of emptiness. Sometimes that nature of emptiness is called non-self. But don’t worry, non-self doesn’t mean that you aren’t there. Just as the glass that’s empty of tea still exists, you still exist too, even without a separate self. Signlessness A sign marks the appearance of something, its form. We recognize things based on their sign, but we are often fooled by the outer form of things. The Buddha said, “Where there is a sign, there is deception.” For example, when we look up at the sky, we see a particular cloud. But if we look long enough, it seems the cloud we are looking at disappears. The cloud has become rain, mist, or snow, and we don’t recognize it anymore. If you’ve grown attached to that cloud, you may think, “Oh, my beloved cloud, where are you now? I miss you. You’ve passed from being into nonbeing. I can’t see you anymore.” But in fact our cloud is still there, because it’s impossible for a cloud to die.

It may become snow, hail, or rain, but it won’t become nothing. It’s impossible to pass from being into nonbeing. This is true for us as well. Every thought, word, and action we produce continues after our bodies have disintegrated. We don’t need to worry about no longer existing. Our forms change, but nothing is lost. Whether the cloud has the form of a cloud, the rain, the river, or the tea, it continues on its wonderful journey. Aimlessness Aimlessness means you don’t put anything in front of you as the object of your pursuit. What you are looking for is not outside of you—it is already here. You already are what you want to become. Concentrating on aimlessness releases your longing and craving for something in the future and elsewhere. If you are running after nirvana, you should know that nirvana is already there in yourself and in everything. If you are running after the Buddha, be aware that the Buddha is already in you. If you are seeking happiness, be aware that happiness is available in the here and the now. Only when you stop running can you get the fulfillment and happiness you have been looking for. ♦ THICH NHAT HANH is a Zen monk, poet, and peace activist. His many

books include No Mud, No Lotus and The Miracle of Mindfulness.

More Truth, Less Suffering ANUSHKA FERNANDOPULLE on how mindfulness reduces the suffering caused by our collective sense of separation.

mindfulness is most clearly emphasized and articulated in Theravada Buddhism— old school Buddhism developed in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. In the West, many people practice Insight Meditation, a practice coming from this school that includes training in mindfulness and other factors of mind that can help us develop insight into the way things are. In Insight Meditation, we tune into the changing nature of all experience. We see the lack of solidity of everything, and thus the unreliability of things and experiences as places to seek and find lasting well-being. These insights can bring a fundamental shift in the way we relate to life. We no longer seek refuge in experiences that will vanish, and we can live life in greater harmony and peace. Mindfulness is situated within a larger context of ethical trainings. These cover our actions, work, and speech; cultivating wholesome states of mind and heart; and clarifying our view of what is true. All of these are necessary to attain the goal of the path: freedom from suffering, stress, strain, grief, and despair. Mindfulness is essential in developing this kind of wisdom, but it is not the only ingredient. Collectedness of mind (concentration or focus), balance of mind (equanimity), and investigation of experience are also important. A sense of ardency or passion is considered an essential factor on the path, and we need to develop wise attention, understanding how and to what we should be applying mindfulness. AMONG ALL BUDDHIST SCHOOLS,

One of the frequent companions of mindfulness in the Buddhist teachings is sampajanna, translated as clear comprehension, clear knowing, or full awareness. The pairing of “mindfulness and clear comprehension” is as well-known to students of Theravada Buddhism as salt and pepper and bread and butter. Sampajanna refers to understanding the broader context in which an action or experience is happening, including intention and impact. This contributes to the development of wisdom, which is the real goal of the practice. We need to include this broader awareness so the practice is not one that supports self-absorbed disconnection. We can’t be satisfied with just feeling the bare sensation of our foot on the ground but must also know if we are stepping on somebody’s foot. We can be aware of what our sandwich tastes like but also tune into whether we have taken someone else’s sandwich, if everyone has a sandwich, or if it is even sandwich-eating time. If we do not include a broader awareness in our practice of mindfulness, there can be a sense of separation from the world. Becoming more aware of those around us and our impact on others is essential on the path. The path of mindfulness, when it includes all these factors, is one that can lead to greater alignment with truth and less suffering for oneself and others. ♦ ANUSHKA FERNANDOPULLE is a San Francisco-based Insight Medita-

tion teacher and author of an upcoming book on mindfulness and leadership.

Mindfulness and Wisdom in the Mahayana DZOGCHEN PONLOP RINPOCHE looks at the four foundations of mindfulness as tools to develop prajna,

the wisdom of egolessness. I N T H E M A H AYA N A T R A D I T I O N , mindfulness is regarded as


wisdom, transcendental knowledge, which is known in Sanskrit as prajna. Mindfulness is also a method of working with our mind. It is the method of recollection, of watchfulness, which develops into the stage of awareness. But if you look at this mindfulness and awareness, you will see that there is not much difference between them. Once you have developed the discipline of mindfulness, awareness is simply the continuity of that mindfulness. In the Mahayana tradition, there are several stages we progress through in our study and cultivation of prajna. These become the means for integrating our understanding into our experience and progressively developing that experience into the full state of realization.

Four Objects of Mindfulness Practice In the path of the four mindfulnesses, there are four objects of meditation. The first is the body, the second is feeling, and the third is mind. The fourth is phenomena, or dharmas in Sanskrit. Through clinging to these four objects and relating to them in a most neurotic way, the whole universe, the whole world of samsara, is created. But by using them as the objects of our meditation, we can develop a sane relationship with them. The object of body serves as the basis of clinging to oneself as an existent, permanent ego. To that we add feeling, something to be experienced by this self. Then we have mind, which is what we relate to as the real self. When we try to point to the self, the ego, we usually point to our consciousness, our basic sense of mind. That is the actual object of self-clinging, which cannot exist without body LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016


(or form in general) and feeling. Mind cannot really express itself without the body and feeling. Therefore mind, in the third stage of mindfulness, is the basic idea of consciousness, of awareness. Finally, we have the fourth object, phenomena. Ordinarily, we relate to phenomena as the basis of confusion. However, from this perspective, phenomena are seen as the basis of both confusion and liberation, of samsara and nirvana. Samsara and nirvana appear and are experienced on the basis of phenomena. Our misunderstandings and unhealthy relationships with these four objects lead us into the vicious circle of samsara. Samsara’s game of illusion arises from a lack of prajna in our relationships with these four objects. Therefore, we develop prajna so we can relate with them more profoundly, as well as more basically. The Essence of Mindfulness What is mindfulness? The essence of mindfulness is the prajna of seeing—the wisdom that understands and experiences the true nature of form, the true nature of feeling, the true nature of mind, and the true nature of phenomena. To practice this means to focus, place, or relate your mind closely with these four situations or objects. Relating with these four objects directly with our prajna means experiencing them without any labels. This is what we call the practice of mindfulness. The essence of these practices is experiencing these four

objects without any barrier between you as the knower and the experienced object. The absence of any barrier is prajna. Prajna is also without coloring; therefore, we see the objects’ basic state and relate with that. The fundamental simplicity of the object is the essence or nature of mindfulness. The Result On the basic Buddhist level, the result of these four mindfulnesses is the realization or actualization of the four noble truths. Through the mindfulness of body and the mindfulness of feeling, we come to the realization of the truths of suffering and the causes of suffering. With the mindfulness of mind, we come to the realization of the truth of cessation, of completely being freed. And the fourth mindfulness, the mindfulness of phenomena, brings us to the realization of the path that leads to cessation. If we understand the interdependent nature of all phenomena, if we can relate with all phenomena as emptiness, then that is the path leading us to the result of nirvana, or cessation. From the Mahayana point of view, the result of these four mindfulnesses is the realization of twofold egolessness—the egolessness of self and the egolessness of phenomena. In Mahayana Buddhism, that is essentially what mindfulness is all about. ♦ D ZO G C H E N P O N LO P R I N P O C H E is a master of the Nyingma and

Kagyu schools of Vajrayana Buddhism. His latest book is Emotional Rescue.

Exposing, Embracing, Responding & Letting Go In the Chan practice of mindfulness, GUO GO explains, four steps help us realize the three marks of existence and the four noble truths. which in modern times is rendered as “mindfulness,” actually means “recollection” or “bearing in mind.” What do you recollect? What do you bear in mind? You recollect the true nature of phenomena, which can be summed up as impermanence, suffering, and no-self. These are not concepts but methods of practice in daily life. Impermanence means that in moment-to-moment experiences, there is nothing graspable as a fixed self or reified existence. For example, as soon as we feel “this is my body, my feeling, my thought, or whatever situation I find myself in,” we have already frozen the natural flow of conditions into a “story.” Suffering is maintained through stories we tell ourselves about how we or the world are fundamentally fixed. To be the changing flow of conditions without fixation is the truth of no-self. In other words, impermanence is the key. If we resist it, then we swing to the side of suffering. If we don’t resist it, then we realize the wisdom of no-self. Practicing according to these three principles of buddhadharma is mindfulness. In the Chan tradition, which became Zen in Japan, the pracT H E PA L I W O R D S AT I ,



tice of mindfulness can be approached in four ways: exposing, embracing, responding, and letting go. Mindfulness means exposing all forms of reification or attachment to permanence—this is the way to end suffering. Embracing means not rejecting vexations and life because they show us the causes of suffering as we turn them into the conditions of liberation. Responding means uncontrived action, in which we work creatively with causes and conditions without attachment. This is the truth of cessation as wondrous function. Letting go refers to no-attainment, the antidote to our incessant desires, which is the truth of the path. These practices can be simple or profound, depending on the practitioner’s insight. They realize the three seals of buddhadharma and the four noble truths in either a gradual or sudden manner. This is the wisdom of mindfulness practice in Chan. ♦ G U O G U (Jimmy Yu) is the founder of the Tallahassee Chan Center in

Florida and the author of Passing Through the Gateless Barrier.

An Undivided World When we practice mindfulness of feeling, says MELISSA MYOZEN BLACKER, ROSHI , we strike right at the heart of dualism. of mindfulness in the four foundations of mindfulness teachings is called vedanasati. Sati, a Pali word, is often translated as “mindfulness” but really means something like “remembering” or “recollecting.” As for vedana, the Theravada teacher Bhikkhu Bodhi calls it the “bare affective quality of an experience.” Another way to understand vedana is “feeling tone.” When we practice with this second foundation, often rendered as simply “mindfulness of feeling,” we notice the tone of our experiences as positive, negative, or neutral. From the Zen point of view, all experiences are inherently neutral. It is our reactivity to them that creates our sense of good or bad, attraction or aversion, and much of our suffering comes from dividing the world into these two categories. From one perspective, this is just common sense: we are attracted to pleasure and we try to avoid pain. But another view is voiced by the third Chinese Zen ancestor Sengcan in his poem “The Heart of True Entrusting”: “To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.” When we bring mindfulness to the feeling tone of an experience, we can break down good and bad into discrete elements. We can get to know pain in its particularities. When we encoun-



ter something we don’t like, we notice particular sensations in the body, specific emotions, and certain characteristic thoughts. For example, when I have a headache, I can perceive exactly where the pain is, whether it’s big or small, steady or intermittent, cool or warm. I can feel my sadness, fear, or irritation. I can be aware of thoughts, like, “Why do I have a headache again? Oh no, this is terrible!” When I experience something pleasant, I can similarly break down the experience into its granular elements. In meditation practice, we notice the arising of feeling-tones, and we bring careful, affectionate, and nonjudging attention to our preferences for some experiences over others. We see how thoughts, emotions, and sensations combine to create a concept of good or bad. Through this practice of staying curious and attentive, without trying to change anything, the heart–mind settles into being with things as they are. We learn to live with everything that we encounter, wondering, again and again, how simply being alive is a blessing. ♦ M E L I S S A M Y O Z E N B L AC K E R , R O S H I is the abbot of Boundless

Way Zen and coeditor of The Book of Mu: Essential Writings on Zen’s Most Important Koan. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016



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4. MINDFULNE SS IN ACTION Gaylon Ferguson Gretchen Rohr Lama Rod Owens Edward Espe Brown


LIONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016


Mindfulness and the Eightfold Path To understand how to practice mindfulness in daily life, says GAYLON FERGUSON , we have to look at all eight steps of the noble eightfold path. at Deer Park, the Buddha praised mindfulness: “The Noble Eightfold Path is nourished by living mindfully.” From the beginning, the path of awakening includes all aspects of our human lives: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social. The aim is a mindful life. This means that our relationship to our sexuality and our consumerist economic system, our parenting, and our politics are all part of the path. This approach to living fully is outlined in the eightfold path. “Right mindfulness” is one aspect of this path, alongside right view, right intention, right effort, right meditative engagement, I N H I S F I R ST T E AC H I N G

right speech, right livelihood, and right action. The Sanskrit word samyak—often translated as “right” or “perfect”—can also mean “complete.” Engaging mindfulness encourages complete engagement with life. Let’s walk through these aspects of the Buddhist spiritual path, returning mindfulness to her rightful place among her seven less famous but equally important sisters and brothers. Right View The central view of the Buddha’s teaching is a middle way, avoiding the extremes of aggressive asceticism (being harsh with ourselves and others) and laissez-faire indulgence (spiritual laziness). We approach all our experience with basic friendliness and respect. In the context of meditation practice, this means gently placing awareness on our bodies and minds in a “not too tight, not too loose” manner. Without this view of fundamental loving-kindness, there is no mindfulness meditation. Practicing mindfulness as mere mental gymnastics leaves us feeling even more depleted. In a culture where “Just do it” now has the well-worn familiarity of a mantra, jumping into mindfulness practice without first contemplating the view seems an attractive option. Why study the classic teachings on meditation when the main point is to practice? Isn’t the whole point not to think too much about it? But the Buddha wisely suggested study and contemplation as supports to any practice. Yes, experience is the heart of the matter, but we need first to understand what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how mindfulness relates to the rest of our lives.

Left and opposite page: Gaylon Ferguson, at Naropa University, sits on the floor with students as he leads the graduate-level interdisciplinary course “Beginnings– Birth & Becoming.”


Right Intention Why are we engaging in mindfulness? Contemplating our intention at the beginning of a session rouses our motivation. Our aim may be calmness or peace, stability or a more compassionate heart, or all of the above. The point is that we have already entered the session with some sense of purpose or direction. Take a moment for self-reflection and nonjudgmental self-awareness before rushing on. This gesture of self-respect can gently cut some of the momentum of our accumulated neurotic speed. Acknowledging the motivation we already have can be the first step in an expanding journey. The stress and anxiety we sometimes feel are surely shared by others around us—in our families, our workplaces, our communities. Including a sense of practicing for

their well-being and liberation is called “the great motivation.” We are walking a path of awakening that includes being generous and caring, patient and helpful. This expansiveness of intention brings spaciousness and warmth to our sitting practice, allowing those heartfelt qualities to pervade our daily living with others. Right Effort Effort also has an associated slogan in contemporary culture: “No pain, no gain.” If we don’t try and try again and try harder, we are told, no result can be attained. This can lead to a one-sided approach to exertion, as though the Buddha’s meditation instruction was to place the attention “not too loosely, not too loosely.” We can find ourselves practicing with hypervigilance, eager participants in a new spiritual sport called Extreme Effort. Meditators can develop a habitual tightness instead of cultivating the relaxed spaciousness of heart and mind that originally inspired us toward awakening. My first Buddhist meditation teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, spoke of non-effort as a worthy partner to effort:

“Effort, non-effort and effort, non-effort—it’s beautiful.” Yes, it is important to apply ourselves, to engage fully in mindful living. But it is equally important to release all trying and confidently trust our innate mindfulness to shine through. All the Buddhist traditions of natural wakefulness, original goodness, or buddhanature are based on this sense of inborn wisdom not produced by meditating or walking the path. This is the practice of basic sanity through what is called “just sitting” or “non-meditation” or “primordial great perfection.” As the pioneering Zen master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi phrased it: “The point we emphasize is strong confidence in our original nature.” In this view, mindfulness is not a special attainment or an extraordinary event in our life journey. Mindfulness is an innate capacity, present in all sentient beings. Walking the path, we are gently cultivating our own nature, allowing seeds of potential to blossom. From this perspective, awakening is as natural as the dawning of the sun. We are invited to begin each session by feeling this naturally awake quality—and to return to this original openness again and again during practice and everyday life.

Right Meditative Engagement The Sanskrit word samadhi is often translated as “meditative absorption,” but this can suggest being so absorbed in something (such as a favorite piece of music) that we are oblivious to everything around us. If we engage our bodies and minds and breathing and emotions fully in mindfulness practice, on the other hand, that same quality of spacious connection can continue as we rise from meditation. Mindfulness goes hand in hand with noticing the environment around our body, around our breathing, around our thoughts and emotions. We listen to what our partner is saying rather than mentally replay the tense moments from our day at work. We notice the swaying of the trees in the wind, just as we notice the movement of our legs in walking meditation. Same directness, same inclusiveness. Right Speech From mindful listening can arise mindful speaking. Here non-effort may provide another helpful hint: leaving pauses in our speech allows for genuine dialogue. Slowing down the impulsive momentum of saying one thing after another is a natural result of mindfulness. Mindful communication is the basis of mindful communities. Mindless speech is speech that causes harm through gossip, slander, lying, and deception. The result of such speech—as when politicians play on our fears to incite hatred—is a divided society; we feel more disconnected from each other. Mindful speech is acting to heal societal wounds. Right Livelihood Mindfulness brings a sense of well-being, an inner richness we share with others by our work in a kindergarten or hospice, corporate offices or a bank. The ordinary meaning of “livelihood”

connects it with surviving—the way we earn money in order to live. Right livelihood lifts our gaze from the simple mechanics of survival. Our work is the way we contribute to the common good. Livelihood is our offering, an act of generosity. We are called—the root meaning of “vocation”—to serve and inspire, to propagate healthiness and sanity in myriad ways. Right Action Meditation in action is the natural expression of mindfulness. These steps on the path of awakening remind us that the proof of our practice is in the pudding of daily life. The whole purpose of this training, it has been said, is to manifest. Sitting still and radiating compassion are useful first steps, but now the old slogan is reborn amid the urgent necessity for compassionate activity to meet the challenges of climate change, increasing social inequality, and disintegrating societies based on fear: “Don’t just sit there, do something!” Let’s conclude our contemplative walk by returning to where we began: the Buddha. The practice of mindfulness meditation and the teaching of the eightfold path have been handed down to us in human lineages of transmission beginning with the Awakened One. Thus, the Buddha stands as original ancestor as well as embodiment of the teacher principle. Living human teachers— sometimes called “spiritual friends”—remind us of the necessarily expansive quality of walking the path. We all have habitual blind spots, and so we contract from time to time into our own narrow versions of the path of awakening. Spiritual friends encourage and provoke and challenge us to engage mindfulness as a step toward a completely awakened life. ♦ G AY L O N F E R G U S O N is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Interna-

tional Buddhist community. His latest book is Natural Bravery.

The Mindful Judge Intentional awareness has served GRETCHEN ROHR well in her challenging work as a magistrate judge in Washington, D.C. I solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich . . . that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all duties incumbent upon me. —from the Judicial Oath of the United States 28 U.S.C. § 453 as the foundation for my daily practice: my Judicial Oath of Office and my oath to follow a spiritual path of awakening for the liberation of all beings. I serve as a T W O O AT H S S E R V E



magistrate judge within the District of Columbia’s trial court. I also practice Buddhism, training in the Theravada tradition under my primary teacher, Gina Sharpe. Judging gets a bad rap. To many, a judging mind is to be avoided. Back when I used to teach mindfulness as “paying attention to everything that arises without judgment,” someone asked, “Can you be mindful and be racist?” My answer: Only if mindfulness is uprooted from its moral underpinnings. The Buddha spoke of how he came to his own judgments in upholding the monastic codes. The Dhammatthavagga Sutta

Gretchen Rohr, in a 2013 ceremony, is installed as a magistrate judge in the D.C. Superior Court by Superior Court Chief Judge Lee F. Satterfield. To her left is her Buddhist teacher, Gina Sharpe, founder of New York Insight.

advises wise judges to unhurriedly and impartially weigh both right and wrong judgments before making a decision according to an intelligence in line with the dharma, guarding the dharma, and guarded by the dharma. Drawing from these teachings, I now understand mindfulness as intentional awareness. The practice of mindfulness involves weighing our alignment and realignment with our truest intentions. For me, these intentions may be the eightfold path, commitments to loved ones, the Judicial Code of Conduct, or my Oath of Office. Much of my understanding of the first noble truth has come from sitting on the bench and witnessing the 10,000 joys and sorrows arise and fall within all walks of life. Our communities, homes, and institutions are plagued with addiction, unemployment, violence, and abuse. Often, our misguided and clumsy attempts to secure our own physical or financial safety and guard against pain only cause more suffering. At the epicenter is the courthouse, where communities seek to “make things right.” Trial judges, by necessity, develop thick skin because one half of all parties before us believe our decisions are wrong. Sometimes the only way to know the law has been applied

fairly is when all parties are equally unhappy. Upholding the values shared by both my code of conduct and my practice while presiding over a high-volume court docket requires skillful effort—and some reliable tools. Indeed, if Martin Luther King, Jr. is right, and “Justice is power correcting everything that stands against love,” then every judge needs to acquire a set of personalized power tools. A daily sitting practice, dedicated dharma study, and a network of spiritual friends are all part of my personal tool belt. Community volunteerism, in particular, allows me to remain mindful of a vision of justice that’s broader than what’s defined by laws. My engagement with a local restorative justice dialogue forum called Justice in Balance allows me to support the empowerment and reconciliation of community members impacted by the forms of violence not typically prosecuted in court. My responsibilities on the bench are a constant resource for the tangible application of and support for mindfulness. Mental restraint and discipline are tools I rely upon much more often than external threats or commands. Instead of using a gavel, my training as a judge has taught me to use respectful words and disciplined listening to communicate legitimate authorLION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016


“I never had a better understanding of the First Noble Truth,” says Gretchen Rohr, “than when I began sitting on the bench and witnessing as the 10,000 joys and sorrows arise and fall within all walks of life.”

ity. For, as the Five Remembrances says, My actions are my only belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. If I cannot remember this simple rule of karma, I can at least recall that every statement I make in court is contemporaneously recorded, often transcribed, and periodically appealed. One of my spiritual mentors, Bhante Buddharikkita, enjoyed laughing at the shared formalities within our chosen livelihoods—starting with the love/hate relationships with our robes. I understand how the black robe might intimidate and create distance, increasing perception of my size and power. But it also serves to remove some of my self from the equation. Just as we can’t pick out only the laws that suit us personally, we can’t pick a robe color meant to flatter us. Through my spiritual practice, I have discovered that the judicial uniform can be used to cultivate connection: my robe is another mindfulness tool, holding me accountable to my oath of office as well as to my dharma practice off the cushion. Immediately before I take the bench each morning, even when I’m rushing, I commit to a brief “robing meditation,” which returns my attention to internally cultivating nonself and externally communicating collective strength. I ground myself in the humbling impact of being cloaked in a symbol of the justice I am charged with administering. I take stock of present 68


bodily sensations and thought formations and examine which of them may interfere with my faithful and impartial discharge of duties. Guided by my court training and the Vitakkasanthana Sutta, I then endeavor to either set distractions aside, relax their grip on my mind, or if all else fails, crush my egocentric mind with clenched teeth and open awareness. Finally, the robe is a great reminder that I am responsible for the laws I’ve vowed to uphold—even when it’s uncomfortable or the laws are not equitably drafted or equally enforced. Ten to fifteen thousand members of the public enter my courthouse each day, and most are suffering. None, except possibly the newlyweds, want to be there. People are distressed by the circumstances that brought them to court, and many are looking for someone to blame. A lot of that blame, justifiable or unjustifiably, is directed toward the bench, and very little of it is expressed through wise speech. Chögyam Trungpa, in his commentary on Atisha’s eleventh-century mind-training teachings, claimed that “everybody is looking for someone to blame—and they would like to blame you . . . because they probably think you have a soft spot in your heart.” I have witnessed in my courtroom the transformative impact of training the mind to drive all blame toward self. Defensiveness inevitably feeds newly tapped rage. I surrender my verbal weaponry in order to defend due process from counterattacks. When I am the first to concede or affirm the harm of someone before me, I’ve found that litigants listen more easily and treat each other more respectfully. Sometimes the energy shifts away from seeking retribution and toward problem solving when I absorb unfair accusations. (Sometimes, nothing at all happens.) An entire field of research is now dedicated to this simple truth: if people have a voice and are treated with respect, they typically perceive the proceedings as fair and the system as just, regardless of the outcome of their case. Ironically, if I accept that sometimes the law “gets it wrong,” people are more likely to believe the law got it right. Like some monks and nuns, we trial judges are challenged to distance ourselves from and limit certain social and personal interactions—without succumbing to a sense of isolation. We are challenged to deliver instruction in a vernacular relevant and accessible to all without overstepping the training rules formulated for us. We are tasked to apply the Buddha’s teachings in wise speech and skillful means in highly visible settings. We are challenged to uphold, privately, the same vows we’ve taken publicly. To do otherwise would undermine the integrity of the law itself. As I enter the courthouse, I am excited to meet each day’s challenges. Sometimes I transcend them. Sometimes I feel beaten down by them—until I remember to bring appreciative attention to the never-ending freedom to practice with the pain and difficulty before me. When I remove my robe at the end of the day, having stood witness to so much conflict and trauma, my heart is softened. I must remember that I always have the choice to

close my ears or my heart. But as MLK put it, I choose love. Though I am privy to only a sliver of each litigant’s life, I am struck by how often I hear my sorrow in their voice, surprised by how often I see my own weariness in their eyes. In those brief moments, I get a small taste of the transformative power of King’s vision of justice.

Then I bow to Kwan Yin and to King. And start again tomorrow. ♦ G R E T C H E N R O H R is founder of Justice in Balance, a restorative

justice forum dedicated to reconciling communities impacted by violence. She serves as a magistrate judge at the D.C. Superior Court.

My Body, My Life How mindfulness has helped LAMA ROD OWENS live as a Black queer man in America. mindfulness training, and it is taught that without the stability derived from concentrated calm abiding practice, insight meditation would be difficult. Though I have no formal training in sutra-based mindfulness, I have been working with the Satipatthana (Four Foundations of Mindfulness) Sutta in my personal practice. It has been a foundational text for me as I continue to understand meditation and what Michel Foucault called “technologies of the self ”—the various means through which we may affect personal mental and physical changes to produce more happiness, contentment, wisdom, etc. As I practice mindfulness each day, it becomes a practice of being in my body, knowing my body, and moving with my body as it moves through the world. It is breathing with it, hurting with it, and rejoicing with it. When I am with other bodies sharing spaces, communing together, or making love together, then mindfulness is knowing that I am there showing up with my body and breath. For me, mindfulness must first emerge from my body as it is positioned in the world, open and sensitive to the many ways it is interpreted by others, sometimes in ways that are traumatizing and wounding, and sometimes in ways that celebrate my body. When I started focusing more on mindfulness, I noticed that it was something I had been practicing acutely for most of my life. It had been so much a part of how I have survived as a Black queer man in this world. It was being aware of Lama Rod Owens at the Buddhism and Race Conference at Harvard Divinity School in May. “Dharma,” he says, “has greatly increased my capacity to be in the world as a change agent rooted in love and compassion.” how people notice me in space, like

is about showing up in the best way possible in my body and in my life. As an authorized lama in the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, I am trained in Mahamudra, a system of meditation and philosophy that is concerned with revealing the true nature of mind and phenomena. Mahamudra emphasizes calm abiding (shamatha) and insight (vipashyana) meditation. Calm abiding is learning to allow the mind to be as thoughts, emotions, and perceptions flow in and out. Insight is the practice of discerning what the mind is by exploring and analyzing phenomena of mind. Training in the initial stages of calm abiding is essentially F O R M E , P R AC T I C I N G M I N D F U L N E S S



walking into a store and having no choice but to be mindful of the cashiers or plainclothes security because you are already a suspect. Mindfulness continues to be the practice of surviving how my body becomes a canvas on which other people’s projections

paint a reality for me that is often quite harmful. To be present to this process is to resist this kind of violence. ♦ L A M A R O D O W E N S is a graduate student at Harvard Divinity

School and a core teacher with the Natural Dharma Fellowship.

How to Wash Rice With Your Eyes Mindfulness, says Zen cook EDWARD ESPE BROWN , means engaging life with your whole being. The results will be noticeably more delicious. my late teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, for his advice about working in the kitchen, he said, “When you wash the rice, wash the rice. When you cut the carrots, cut the carrots. When you stir the soup, stir the soup.” Though very similar, this is not the same as “be mindful in the kitchen,” which makes it sound like you have two things to do: washing and being mindful, cutting and being mindful, stirring and being mindful. What would that mindfulness part look like? Probably a bit stiff, as your impulse will be to move slowly and carefully so that only a moderate amount of energy and emotion arises to meet the circumstances. In other words, most people hear “be mindful” as keep yourself in check. Yet what is magnificent and magical is finding out how to manifest the cutting of carrots with your whole body and mind; how to wash the rice with your eyes and your hands, connecting consciousness with the senses and the world—not just going through the motions. This brings me to a pivotally important point. When you stop going through the motions and manifest the stirring of soup, alive in the present moment, emotions may surface. While some find this problematic and may recommend dispassion, my suggestion is to invite your passion to cook. Instead of tying yourself down so that nothing volatile arises, use what is vibrant and volatile—feelings—to energize your presence in the kitchen. Invite them to handle, stir, wash, touch, scrub, scour; invite them to see, smell, taste, and delight in the play. A cook’s temperament is a passion for life: give it a field in which to practice—put it to work. If I were to cook only when I was most loving, kind, and benevolent, I would have starved long ago. I am not telling you to act out in the kitchen; my encouragement is to turn afflictive emotions, as well as enthusiasm and exuberance, into something edible and nourishing: food. So along with mindfulness, washing the rice when you wash the rice is putting more emphasis on concentration, focus, attention, and energy. These actions rather blend together: Prepare food! Make it happen! Wash, cut, cook, taste, savor. Gather yourself, as many disparate parts as you can muster. Zero in on the activity and how to do it easily, effectively, effortlessly (not WHEN I ASKED



just going through the motions). Give your attention to observing and perceiving rather than giving out directives and enforcing rules. Let your life force bloom and sparkle. Interact. Study how to use your body to do the work of cooking. This kind of instruction accords with the oneness of practice and realization. When you make food you are actualizing the fundamental point. You are making food real. It’s not just talk; it’s not just a head trip—we can eat it. Engage in what you are doing. Zen Master Dogen’s advice is to let things come and abide in your heart. Let your heart return and abide in things. All through the day and night. To engage is to meet and connect, and out of that meeting and connecting, to respond. Responding from the heart, your implicit intention is to bring out the best. This is learning to relate with the things of this world and your own body-mind, rather than seeking to hide out in a place where you don’t have to relate with anything. There are recipes to follow in order to get it right and gain approval. There are no recipes for telling you what your heart knows, and precious little workable advice for trusting your heart rather than your head. After a number of months as the cook at Tassajara Zen Center, I went to Suzuki Roshi with a problem: “How do I get my fellow workers to practice the way they should?” I explained to him that I was endeavoring to practice his instruction to wash the rice, but that others in the kitchen often came late to work, disappeared for long bathroom breaks, and that when they opened their mouths, their hands stopped moving. “How do I get them to really practice?” Roshi did not say, “Tell them to be more mindful.” He listened attentively, as his nods punctuated my litany with what I took as confirmation: Yes, I know, it’s hard to get good help these days. He seemed so completely sympathetic. When I finished speaking, he paused for a bit, then startled me by saying, “If you want to see virtue, you’ll have to have a calm mind.” “That,” I protested to myself, “is not what I asked you.” I had something new to study. How will you survive the kitchen? Make it through the fire? One key I found is not to calm my mind first and then look for


The first head resident cook at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, from 1967 to 1970, Edward Espe Brown is still active there. Here he leads his class “How to Cook Your Life.”

virtue, but simply to look for virtue. There it is. What you look for, you’ll get more of it. When you look for fault, you’ll find it. I started looking for virtue. Seeing virtue encompasses two aspects: the relative and the absolute. When you taste what you put in your mouth, you may notice sweet or sour, earthy or sunny, and along with these relative characteristics you can sense something essential, something from beyond. This something is not a thing. Go ahead and taste it—the virtue inherent in your careful, atten-

tive, receptive experiencing of the moment. You can taste your own inherent goodness and the virtue of others working with you. You may meet sincerity, kindness, wholeheartedness, vulnerability, grief, anxiety, determination, stubbornness. And you may meet mind itself: vast and spacious. Awesome! ♦ E D WA R D E S P E B R O W N is the author of the bestselling Tassajara Bread Book and the editor of Not Always So, a book of lectures by Shunyru Suzuki Roshi. He is the subject of the 2007 film How to Cook Your Life. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016



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No Separation Human solidarity can’t be rooted in our common cultural heritage, argues coauthor R E V. A N G E L K Y O D O W I L L I A M S in this excerpt from the new book Radical Dharma. Real collective liberation begins when we appreciate our differences.

Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world. — B E L L H O O K S , Killing Rage: Ending Racism that you can only truly organize people around issues that matter to them, but collective liberation asks something greater of us. It requires transcendent movements. Transcendent movements require people to organize around issues beyond what they perceive they are affected by. How to do that? People have to experience their interdependence. To recognize that any limit in your ability to love limits my ability to love. One has to penetrate the truth of interdependence such that I am moved to a place in which I am not doing something for you, but it is actually about me, which is tied to you because there is, in an absolute sense, no separation.



This being, that becomes; from the arising of this, that arises; this not being, that does not become; from the ceasing of this, that ceases. —THE BUDDHA

We have arrived in the era of what I call embodied intersectionality. Originally coined in 1989 by attorney and critical theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw, the term “intersectionality” sought to give language to the ways in which Black women were often marginalized because they didn’t fit in solely one category or another, and, given that different forms of discrimination can interact and overlap, sisters were often erased from advocacy by white feminists and male antiracists. It has since come into common usage in progressive and liberation movements to express the interconnectedness of various forms of oppression. More than a political concept, embodied intersectionality is the lived reality of an increasing number of people crossing boundaries of race, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national citizenry, ethnic origin, etc., and the cultures formed by those identities and locations. It is a tangible, modern-day expression of oneness. The long-standing ways of tribalism and hyper-individualism are both fading from the mainstream, while at the same time inciting reactivity in the form of greater political division. This is evidenced by the deeper and seemingly more vicious rabid divide between the left and right, conservatives and progressives, Democrats and Republicans, and in fragmentation within those groups, as well. So how to get there from here?




Lotus Out of the Mud

Intersectionality Is Its Own Ideal

Paradoxically, the individualist ethos handed down from Ameri- America in all its messiness provides the first real opportunity for ca’s terrible founding, as distinct from more collectivized socialthis because so many people are still in touch with their mother cultural organization (of the East, for example), provides an countries and mother cultures or are reclaiming cultural identities opportunity to transmute the destructive force of aggression and distinct from and against whiteness as the model of perfection. narcissism to approach collective liberation in entirely new ways. In, as bell hooks says, “claiming the identities and cultural legaThe two elements that most quicken the potential cies that shape who we are and how we live in the for transcendent movements are not entirely unique world” we reject hegemony, the very thing that allows but are prominent features of American society: us to organize solely around similarities or simple 1. embodied intersectionality tribalism. The impulse to assert our right to claim 2. the entitlement of individualism who we are is an essential human urge toward selfThe depth and breadth of embodied intersecdetermination, but the comparative strength and relationality at a critical mass is the direct outcome of tive speed by which we do so in America, overriding a non-homogenous society, the best example of the drive to assimilate as the hegemonic order would which is the experiment called the United States of have us do, is a direct by-product of the individual America and this admittedly accidental outcome. sense of entitlement, perhaps inherited or borrowed It seems unlikely we could have truly envisioned from our contact with the privileged whom such RADICAL DHARMA: collective liberation prior to intersectionality because TALKING RACE, LOVE, entitlement was meant to be bestowed upon. AND LIBERATION we had so much cultural hegemony. I would go so But even as we claim our identities, which could be by Rev. angel Kyodo far as to propose that even the idea of collective libseen as leading to self-centered ideologies or just cliquwilliams and Lama Rod eration expressed beyond the theoretical, as it is in ishness—perhaps an unavoidable developmental stage Owens, with Jasmine the spiritual aspiration of the bodhisattva ideal, and that critics of identity politics have pointed out—interSyedullah, PhD instead rendered as a broad-based agenda for social sectionality incites us to reject internal cultural and North Atlantic 2016; justice, is a direct result of intersectionality. identity hegemony. 248 pp., $12.95 (paper)



The reason we can is the result of so many people— approaching a critical mass—living intersectional lives. Enough of us can feel beyond cosmetic sameness and experience the deeper interdependent relationship, moving the mutuality of liberation from theory to practice to praxis. The greatest potential outcome of embodied intersectionality meeting individual entitlement is transcendent movements.

Embracing What Is, Throwing Nothing and No One Away These converging paradoxes are allowing for possibilities of human evolution that were not previously possible. We may initially experience this paradox as something to be resisted because we are deeply invested in right and wrong. We want to cut things off, throw something away. But in a world of multiplicity, the path toward liberatory mastery—personal and social— can no longer remain rooted in a single ideology, discipline, or viewpoint; it itself is becoming intersectional and interdependent. Through practice, we can create the invitation to be in relationship with the reality of what is. Even when we disagree with it, if for no other reason than that our disagreement does not negate the reality. Simultaneously with our commitment to disrupting and dismantling structures that degrade humanity, a commitment to the practice of engaging the humanity of people wed to perpetuating those structures must coexist. Whether by arrogance, ignorance,

or fear, we must bear witness to their suffering as our own. Challenge what is unjust. Invest in their basic goodness. Always move toward integration. Without this commitment and practice, we merely mirror the destructive forces of polarization and power. On the movement level, this allows for uplifted organizing at the highest common denominator, rather than the degradation of lowest common denominator. This is a huge evolutionary leap: to be able to see past sameness and likeness as the lens through which we view our potential to care for and love one another. We’ve done this on the individual level, but we are now organizing on the social level. In many ways this goes against—or extends beyond—the grain of how we have been evolving. Biologically speaking, we are programmed toward being tribal as a means of survival. We literally have to transcend an aspect of our own biology. This ability to disrupt our programming and form new cognitive connections based on direct experience that then becomes embodied through repetition—practice—is one of human beings’ greatest attributes. In this lies the potential to overcome our basest reactions for survival and manifest our highest evolutionary potential to thrive. It is profound, and it is possible, and we can see it. ♦ Excerpted from Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Jasmine Syedullah. Reprinted by permission of North Atlantic Books.




By Dick Allen Wisdom 2016; 152 pp., $14 (paper)

Over his last twenty years of composing poetry, Dick Allen found himself writing in the voice of a Zen master, “one as devoted as I am to traditional Buddhist scripture and to taking a meaningful and somewhat offbeat way through life.” Zen Master Poems is a collection of these onepage compositions that takes us on a journey to contemplate Frisbees, blueberry muffins, and Johnny Cash alongside traditional images associated with Zen, all the while seeking glimmers of enlightenment. One poem, “On the Raft,” reads simply “perfectly adrift.” Zen Master Poems features reflection, meditation, mystery, humor, admonition, koans, calm observation, and Buddhist thought for readers and seekers on every path. THE ROHINGYAS Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide

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“Experiencing our Pristine Mind—who we really are—and thereby achieving true, unconditional happiness, is what this book is about,” writes Tibetan Buddhist master Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche in Our Pristine Mind. Written in an accessible, conversational style, this text guides us in going beyond mindfulness to transform every area of our lives through discovering the true nature of our mind. Based on the Dzogchen teachings, and with chapters such as “The Poor Man and the Treasure” and “Changing Our Mental Diet,” Chowang Rinpoche introduces us to the Pristine Mind meditation, emphasizing that while everybody possesses Pristine Mind, since it is our true nature, we each need to uncover it for ourselves. ♦


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AGAINST THE STREAM BUDDHIST MEDITATION SOCIETY 4300 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. (323) 665-4300, Fax: (323) 665-4404,, www. • Founded by Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx, Against The Stream has two centers in Los Angeles and Santa Monica offering weekly classes, daylong retreats, and special class series.

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Zazen Mon., Wed. & Sat., ongoing Yoga, Tai Chi, Energy Work, Massage, Labyrinth Walk, Rock Garden / River Walk, Lodging rentals. MOUNTAIN LAMP COMMUNITY PO Box 512, Deming, WA 98244. (360) 592-0600,, • Two tradition practice center: Plum Village Dharma Teacher Eileen Keira and Diamond Sangha Zen Roshi Jack Duffy.

AGAINST THE STREAM BUDDHIST MEDITATION SOCIETY 2701 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110. bayarea@, • Meditation center in the Mission offers weekly classes, daylongs, class series and residential retreats.

NITARTHA INSTITUTE 3902 Woodland Park Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103. (562) 7743372, Fax: (604) 398-2605,, • Offering a complete Shedra education: combining study of key texts and commentaries with training in analytical meditation and formal debate.

CHAGDUD GONPA RIGDZIN LING PO Box 279, Junction City, CA 96048. (530) 623-2714, FAX: (530) 623-6709,, www. • Nyingma Buddhist center in serene Northern California Alps. Founded by Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. Daily meditation; teaching and retreat programs; individual retreat facilities.

OCEAN LIGHT ZEN CENTER c/o Michael Schutzler PO Box 16156, Seattle, WA 98116., www. • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center.

DHARMA ZEN CENTER 1025 S Cloverdale Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019. (323) 9340330,, • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. EMPTY GATE ZEN CENTER 2200 Parker St, Berkeley, CA 94704. (510) 845-8565, info@, • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. INSIGHTLA 1430 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404. (310) 4501821, • InsightLA offers classes, sitting groups, retreats and special events dedicated to opening minds and hearts. Buddhist wisdom inspires all our programs in Vipassana meditation and secular-mindfulness education in Los Angeles. SHASTA ABBEY 3724 Summit Dr, Mt. Shasta, CA 96067. (530) 926-4208, Fax: (530) 926-0428,, www. • A Soto Zen monastery in Northern California. Retreats, residential training, meditation, religious services, teaching, spiritual counseling. Around 25 male and female monks.

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SIXTH ANCESTOR ZEN CENTER PO Box 11006, Oakland, CA 94611. (510) 844-4164,, • Weekly zen sittings and Dharma talk. Korean energy and dietary practices also offered, establishing a healthy mind/ body foundation for this Path of awakening.

NORTHWEST CANYON MOUNTAIN CENTER Meditation & Well Being 767 E. Main St. John Day, OR 97845. (541) 932-2798,, • Jim and Sandy Bay.

SRAVASTI ABBEY 692 Country Lane, Newport, WA 99156. (509) 447 5549,, • A Buddhist monastery in the Tibetan tradition, guided by Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, offering retreats, courses, on-line teachings, and monastic training. ZEN COMMUNITY OF OREGON PO Box 188, Clatskanie, OR 97016. (503) 728-0654, info@, • Meditation in Portland at Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple. Sesshin, residential training, and weekend retreats at Great Vow Zen Monastery. Chozen Bays Roshi, and Zen Teacher Hogen Bays.

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HERMAN REDNICK RETREAT CENTER, KAGYU MILA GURU SANGHA 40 Lorien Rd, Questa, N.M.87556; mail: HC 81 Box 6017, Questa, NM 87556 (575) 586-1454, gabrielle.herbertson@, • Tibetan Buddhist stupa, campsites, bathhouse, retreat houses, meditation building, labyrinth, weekly practices, frequently visiting teachers, individual and group retreats welcome.


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ANCIENT DRAGON ZEN GATE 1922 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago IL 60613. info@, • Soto Zen meditation practice with Taigen Dan Leighton: Author, scholar, and Dharma teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki.

DHARMA FLOWER ZEN CENTER 861 Clay St, Woodstock, IL 60098. (815) 236-2511,, • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. GREAT LAKE ZEN CENTER 1721 South 81st St., West Allis, WI 53214., • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. GREAT PLAINS ZEN CENTER W7762 Falk Rd., Monroe, WI 53566 (608) 325-6248. • Sunday evening zazen in Palatine, IL. Daily schedule, monthly sesshin in Monroe, WI. Classes for adults and children. White Plum Asanga. Zen Peacemaker Order. Teacher: Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi. HOKYOJI ZEN PRACTICE COMMUNITY 2649 County 5, Eitzen, MN 55937. (507) 542-4968,, • Soto-style Zen and mindfulness practice on 105 wooded acres; offering daily zazen and services, retreats, practice periods, and personal retreats. INDIANAPOLIS ZEN CENTER 3703 N Washington Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46205. (317) 921-9902,, • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. ISTHMUS ZEN COMMUNITY Ron Heinrich, Madison, WI. (608) 515-3288,, • Offering evening Zen practice and instruction and regularly scheduled retreats in a warm, welcoming, and compassionate community. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. KANSAS ZEN CENTER 1423 New York St, Lawrence, KS 66044. kansaszencenter@, • Zen Master Bon Hae (Judy Roitman), Zen Master Hae Kwang (Stan Lombardo). Regularly scheduled practice, retreats, and classes in Lawrence. Affiliated group meets Tuesday evenings in Kansas City. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. MILWAUKEE SHAMBHALA MEDITATION CENTER 2344 N Oakland Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211-4322. (414) 277-8020,, www.milwaukee. • Explore our diverse programs designed to help people of all traditions discover their inherent goodness, gentleness and humor. PRAIRYERTH ZEN CENTER • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. Visit our website for a schedule. A Kwan Um School Zen Center.

ROOTED IN MINDFULNESS 4040 N Calhoun Rd, Brookfield, WI 53005. (414) 882-8932,, • Community Insight Meditation Center. Supporting the learning and cultivation of mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion within the Greater Milwaukee Area. TALLGRASS ZEN CENTER PO Box 304, Alma, KS 66401., • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. TEN DIRECTIONS ZEN COMMUNITY c/o ,www.tendirectionszen. org • Meditation practice Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm at the Theosophical Society building,1926 North Main Street Wheaton, IL 60187 TERGAR INTERNATIONAL 706 N 1st St, Ste 112, Minneapolis, MN 55401. (612) 4608837,, • Tuesday meditation 7 pm; check website for other centers and program dates. Summer retreats in NE, NW and MN. UDUMBARA ZEN CENTER—EVANSTON 1330 Ridge Ave, Evanston IL 60201, (847)475-3264, • Regular zazen practice and study schedule; Bodhisattva, chaplaincy, priest training/ordination; Head Teacher Sensei Tricia Teater. ZEN LIFE & MEDITATION CENTER, CHICAGO 38 Lake St, Oak Park, IL 60302. (708) 689-1220, www. • Offering a comprehensive core curriculum for living a Zen-inspired life of openness, empathy and clarity. Teachers: Roshi Robert Joshin Althouse, Sensei June Ryushin Tanoue.

SOUTH CHAPEL HILL ZEN CENTER PO Box 16302, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. (919) 967-0861,, • A Soto Zen temple with daily meditation in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. Teacher: Josho Pat Phelan. CYPRESS TREE ZEN CENTER 647 McDonnell Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32310., • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. DAWN MOUNTAIN CENTER FOR TIBETAN BUDDHISM 2010 Naomi St Ste. A, Houston, TX 77054. (713) 630-0354,, • Free Sunday morning meditations, Tuesday night teachings, family programs, retreats. Basic Tibetan Buddhism through Longchen Nyingthig, live or online. ECUMENICAL BUDDHIST SOCIETY OF LITTLE ROCK 1516 W. 3rd St, Little Rock, AR 72201, PO Box 561, Little Rock, AR 72203. (501) 376-7056 (VM); • Welcome. Your seat awaits. Weekly Vipassana, Zen and Vajryana practices. Daily silent sittings. Classes, retreats, events. Full information at FESTIVAL OF FAITHS 415 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd, Louisville, KY 40202. (502) 583-3100,, • FIVE-DAY exploration of spiritual practice, human transformation and conversations on meaning with internationally renowned spiritual leaders - Anam Thubten - Karen Armstrong - Pico Iyer - more!



GATELESS GATE ZEN CENTER PO Box 12114, Gainesville, FL 32604., • Sitting every Monday 6:30-8pm (instruction at 6) at Gainsesville Retreat Center, 1551 SE 51 St.. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. HOUSTON ZEN CENTER 1605 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77008. (713) 869-1952, • Zen meditation—daily zazen, weekly classes and lectures, sesshin and retreats. Soto Zen. Abbot Gaelyn Godwin and assistant teachers. KARMA THEGSUM CHOLING DALLAS 1000 Armeda Avenue, Irving, TX 75061. director@, • An affiliate study center of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in New York. Resident teacher, Lama Dudjom Dorjee Rinpoche. Weekly dharma teaching on Sundays, periodic Vajrayana retreats, meditation instruction offereed. Schedule and information on web site. LIGMINCHA INTERNATIONAL & SERENITY RIDGE RETREAT CENTER 554 Drumheller Ln, Shipman, VA 22971. (434) 2636304,, www.ligmincha. org,, • Teachings from the Bön Buddhist tradition of Tibet, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Spiritual Director: retreats, meditation and practices including dzogchen, Tibetan yoga, dream yoga, and more. LITTLE ROCK ZEN CENTER 1516 W 3rd St, Little Rock, AR 72201. (501) 661-1669,, um.html • Meditation practice every Tuesday nights from 6:00-7:00 in the large meditation room at EBS - Please join us! A Kwan Um School Zen Center. MEDITATION CENTER OF TEXAS 1011 Thannisch Dr, Arlington TX 76011. (817) 275-7700,, • Home of Dhammakaya Meditation in Texas. Weekend Meditation classes and retreats. Sunday Buddhist ceremonies. Please contact us for details. MORNING STAR ZEN CENTER 1599 Halsell Rd, Fayetteville, AR 72701-3902. (479) 5301098,, • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. ORLANDO ZEN CENTER c/o Claudia Schippert, 515 S Crystal Lake Dr, Orlando, FL 32803. (407) 897-3685,, www. • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. SOUTH FLORIDA ZEN CENTER 7110 SW 182nd Way, Southwest Ranches, FL 33331. (954) 263-4653,, • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. SOUTHERN DHARMA RETREAT CENTER 1661 West Rd, Hot Springs, NC 28743. (828) 622-7112,, www.shoutherndharma. org • Affordable, teacher-led, silent retreats for all levels of experience in various Buddhist traditions. Spectacular Blue Ridge Mountain setting. Schedule and registration online.



NORTHEAST AMERICAN BUDDHIST SHIM GUM DO ASSOC. 203 Chestnut Hil Ave, Brighton, MA 02135. (617) 7871506, Fax: (617) 787-2708,, www. • Shim Gum Do - Mind Sword Path; Zen meditation and martial art training. Ongoing classes and residential programs available. BARRE CENTER FOR BUDDHIST STUDIES 149 Lockwood Rd, Barre, MA 01005. (978) 355-2347,, • Residential and online courses combining study, discussion, and meditation for strengthening sangha, supporting curiosity, and expanding and deepening personal practice. BLUE MOUNTAIN LOTUS SOCIETY 6496 Jonestown Rd, Harrisburg, PA 17112. (717) 671-5057;; • The Blue Mountain Lotus Society is devoted to sharing the universal teachings of the Buddha in the 21st century. Director, Sensei Anthony Stultz.

DAI BOSATSU ZENDO Kongo-ji 223 Beecher Lake Rd, Livingston Manor, NY 12758. (845) 439-4566,, www. • Beautiful mountain setting. Residential practice: two training periods per year, shorter interim stays. Sesshin, introductory weekends. Shinge Sherry Chayat Roshi, Abbot. DELAWARE VALLEY ZEN CENTER PO Box 240, Newark, DE 19714-7837. (302) 533-8819,, • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. DHARMA DRUM RETREAT CENTER 184 Quannacut Rd, Pine Bush, NY 12566. (845) 744-8114, Fax (845) 744-8483,, www. • A center for Chan Buddhist practice and study in the Lineage of Master Sheng Yen. Meditation retreats & activities suitable for beginners to advanced practitioners. Weekly activities. Volunteer opportunities.

BOUNDLESS WAY ZEN 1030 Pleasant St, Worcester, MA 01602. (508) 792-5189,, • Throughout New England. Shikantaza, koan practice, sesshins, dokusan, family and introductory workshops. Teachers: James Ford, Melissa Blacker, David Rynick, and Josh Bartok.

HEART CIRCLE SANGHA 451 Hillcrest Rd, Ridgewood, NJ 07450. (877) 442-7936,, • Zen meditation, beginning instruction, koan and precepts study, retreats. Rev. Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts, Sensei. White Plum Asangha Soto-Rinzai Lineage.

BUDDHIST FAITH FELLOWSHIP OF CONNECTICUT College of East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT., • Founded in 2001; offers Sunday morning practice, retreats, meditation instruction, courses, family program, 12 Step Group & prison ministry.

INSIGHT MEDITATION SOCIETY THE FOREST REFUGE 1230 Pleasant St, Barre, MA 01005. (978) 355-2063, fr@, • IMS’s Forest Refuge offers experienced insight meditators a tranquil environment for longer-term personal retreat with guidance from senior teachers.

CAMBRIDGE INSIGHT MEDITATION CENTER 331 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139. (617) 441-9038,, • Vipassana. Guiding Teachers: Larry Rosenberg and Narayan Liebenson. An urban center dedicated to integrating meditation practice and wisdom into daily life. Workshops, retreats, practice groups. Daily sittings, weekly drop-ins and talks. CAMBRIDGE ZEN CENTER 199 Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02139. (617) 576-3229,, • Guiding teacher Jane Dobisz. Daily meditation, weekly talks, monthly retreats. Plus residential and guest stays, community dinners. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. CAPE COD ZEN CENTER 169 N Main St, South Yarmouth, MA 02664. (508) 7601814,, www.capecodzen. com • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. CHOGYE INTERNATIONAL ZEN CENTER OF NY 400 E 14th St, Apt 2E, New York, NY 10009. (212) 3530461,, www.chogyezencenter. org • Daily practice, regularly scheduled retreats, talks, interviews, introduction classes. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. COPPER BEECH INSTITUTE 303 Tunxis Rd, West Hartford, CT 06107. (860) 790-9750,, • Connecticut’s premier retreat center for mindfulness and contemplative practice offering 40+ retreat programs. Beautiful monastery campus with 48 wooded acres 90 minutes north of NYC. Farm-to-table meals, comfortable accommodations. Day and evening meditation groups. Stone labyrinth open daily. All are welcome.

INSIGHT MEDITATION SOCIETY THE RETREAT CENTER 1230 Pleasant St, Barre, MA 01005. (978) 355-4378, rc@, • IMS’s Retreat Center courses offer guidance and practice in insight and lovingkindness meditations from leading vipassana teachers. All welcome. KARMA TRIYANA DHARMACHAKRA 335 Meads Mountain Rd, Woodstock, NY 12498. (845) 6795906,, • The North American seat of His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa, beautifully situated in the Catskill Mountains, offers traditional Karma Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist teachings, practice retreats, contemporary programs, meditation instruction and personal retreats. Magnificent shrine hall, resident Tibetan lamas, accommodations with three vegetarian meals daily. MENLA MOUNTAIN—RETREAT, RESORT, SPA 375 Pantherkill Rd, Phoenicia, NY 12464. (845) 688-6897, Fax: (845) 688-6895,, • 325 acres in the heart of the Catskills, R&R Getaway Weekends, comfortable, modern accommodations, meditation sanctuary, yoga studio, conference center, nature hikes, pool, organic garden, WiFi, local, whole-food, vegetarian cuisine. Featuring our 4,000 square foot Tibetan-style spa. MILAREPA CENTER 1344 US Route 5 South, Barnet, VT 05821. (802) 633-4136,, • Cultivate wisdom, compassion and a good heart. Tibetan Buddhist master teachings, group retreats, special events, personal retreat cabins, family camp—within 276 acres of serene, Vermont beauty. NEW HAVEN ZEN CENTER 193 Mansfield St, New Haven CT 06511. (203) 787-0912,, • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center.

THE NEW YORK BUDDHIST CHURCH (JODOSHINSHU HONGANJI-HA) 331-332 Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10025. (212) 6780305, • All inclusive Pure Land community. Weekly Sunday services (Japanese, English), Wednesday evening meditation; Buddhist classes, book discussion, Japanese cultural offerings. NEW YORK ZEN CENTER FOR CONTEMPLATIVE CARE 119 W 23rd St, Ste 401, New York, NY 10011. (212) 6771087,, • Daily meditation, monthly retreats, Zen training; accredited trainings in chaplaincy and contemplative care; accredited Masters in Buddhist Studies; one-to-one spiritual support, bereavement and community programs. CE’s available for nurses and social workers. NEW YORK ZENDO SHOBO-JI 223 East 67th St, New York, NY 10065. (212) 861-3333,, • Daily zazen, Zen intro, zazenkai, sesshin, Dharma talks and interviews. Shinge Sherry Chayat Roshi, Abbot. NORTHERN LIGHT ZEN CENTER 202 Meadow Rd, Topsham, ME 04086. (207) 729-6013,, • Clear teaching clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. OPEN-HEARTED AWARENESS INSTITUTE 41 Union Square West, Suite 835, New York, NY 10003., • Effortless mindfulness and Sutra Mahamudra approach to awakening. Meditation, inquiry and compassion training workshops, retreats, and online courses. Director, Loch Kelly OPEN MEADOW ZEN CENTER 212 Marrett Rd, Lexington, MA 02421. (781) 652-8303,, • Clear teaching clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. PADMASAMBHAVA BUDDHIST CENTER 618 Buddha Hwy, Sidney Center, NY 13839. (607) 8658068,, • Nyingma Dzogchen master and scholar Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche; year round teachings; personal and group retreats on 500 acres Catskill Mountains with gorgeous Tibetan temple; weekly study group and residential volunteer program; centers in West Palm Beach, Nashville, and Puerto Rico, with traditional monastery and nunnery in Sarnath, India. PROVIDENCE ZEN CENTER 99 Pound Rd, Cumberland, RI 02864. (401) 658-1464, (401) 658-1188,, www. • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. RED PATH ZEN SANGHA Zen Garland Member, Upton/Grafton/Mendon, MA. (508) 529-6034, • Duncan Sings-Alone, Roshi, Spiritual Director. We are a new Zen Sangha enriched by Native American Teaching RHINEBECK INSIGHT MEDITATION GROUP 141 Lamoree Rd, Rhinebeck, NY 12572. (845) 876-7963, • Sitting meditation every Wednesday evening. Daylong retreats twice a year. ROCHESTER ZEN CENTER 7 Arnold Park, Rochester, NY 14607. (585) 473-9180, Fax: (585) 473-6846,, • Bodhin Kjolhede-roshi, Abbot and Dharma successor of Philip Kapleau-roshi. Daily zazen, residential training, retreats.

SOJI ZEN CENTER 2325 W Marshall Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19050. (917) 8565659,, • Meditation, Workshops, Retreats, Yoga, Iaido. THEKCHEN CHOLING (USA) SYRACUSE TEMPLE 128 N. Warren Street, Syracuse, NY 13202. (315) 682-0702,, • Non-sectarian, Tibetan Vajrayana and Chinese Mahayana practice. Meditation, chanting, pujas, workshops and retreats. Shakyamuni Buddha relics located on site.

HAWAII OM ORCHARD SANCTUARY PO Box 1190, Kilauea, HI 96754. (808) 822-9300, Fax: (808) 822-9322,, www. • A Buddhist vacation retreat center on the beautiful island paradise of Kauai is waiting to enlighten you.


THREE TREASURES ZEN CENTER 14 Wayman Dr, Otego, NY 13825. (607) 988-7966, abbot@, html • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center.

KUNZANG DECHEN OSEL LING RETREAT CENTRE 268 Mount Tuam Rd, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2W9. (250) 380-8610,, • KDOL accommodates both group programs and personal retreats for people practicing Tibetan Buddhism. And we welcome inquiries for individual and group retreats from other spiritual traditions.

TSEGYALGAR / DZOGCHEN COMMUNITY IN AMERICA PO Box 479, Conway, MA 01341. (413) 369-4153;; • North American seat of the Dzogchen Community, founded by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Please contact us for information.

TORONTO ZEN CENTRE 33 High Park Gardens, Toronto, ON M6R 1S8. (416) 7663400,, • Lay zen training. Daily zazen, sesshin, dokusan, mettabhavana courses. Roshi Taigen Henderson, Dharma Heir of Sunyana Graef, Roshi: Roshi Kapleau lineage.

VILLAGE ZENDO (Dotoku-ji True Expression Temple) 588 Broadway, Ste 1108, New York, NY 10012., www. • Daily Zen meditation, retreats, workshops in the heart of the city. Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Abbot.

TRUE NORTH INSIGHT MEDITATION CENTRE (613) 422-4880,, www. • Insight meditation weekly sittings, residential/non-residential retreats (Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston & Toronto). Diversity of background and experience welcome. French & English.

WONDERWELL MOUNTAIN REFUGE 253 Philbrick Hill Rd, Springfield, NH 03284. (603) 763-0204,, • Group retreats and solo retreats. Sangha rentals. A refuge in the White Mountains. Lama Willa Miller, spiritual director. ZEN CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY, FIRE LOTUS TEMPLE 500 State St, Brooklyn, NY 11217. (718) 875-8229, zcnyc@, • Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Abbot. A residential lay training center offering daily zazen, a regular Sunday program, weekly retreats, and meditation intensives. ZEN CENTER OF SYRACUSE HOEN-JI 266 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13207. (315) 4929773,, • Shinge Sherry Chayat, Abbot. Daily zazen, sesshin, teisho, dokusan, Dharma study, residency, visiting scholars & artists. ZEN GROUP OF PITTSBURGH 125 1/2 Harvard Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. (412) 491-9185 • Weekly practice 7pm Wednesdays at Friends meeting house. 4836 Ellsworth Ave. Pittsburgh. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. ZEN MOUNTAIN MONASTERY PO Box 197, 871 Plank Rd, Mt. Tremper, NY 12457. (845) 688-2228,, • Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei , Abbot; Jody Hojin Kimmel, Resident Priest. Residential training programs, monthly sesshin, and weekend retreats in the Catskill Mountains.

ALASKA COLD MOUNTAIN ZEN CENTER c/o Cary de Wit, PO Box 82109, Fairbanks, AK 99708. (907) 378-6657,, www. • Weekly meditation & instruction, monthly, half-day retreats, bi-annual intensive 3-day retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center.

ZEN CENTRE OF OTTAWA 240 Daly Ave, Ottawa, ON K1N 6G2. (613) 562-1568,, • Main monastery (Dainen-ji) of the White Wind Zen Community. Subscribe to our free weekly email illustrated newsletter—www.

INTERNATIONAL BUENOS AIRES KWAN UM GROUP Av. Caseros 490 4H C115 2AAN Capital Federal, Buenos Aires, Argentina. +54 11 43 07 26 80, kwanumzenbsas@ • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly scheduled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. METTA CONSCIOUS HEALING CENTER San Miguel de San Jose de la Montana, Barva, Heredia, Costa Rica. 011+(506)2266-1635,, http:// • Personal Healing Retreats, Couples Retreats, Family Healing Retreats MEXICO CITY ZEN CENTER Monte Albán #126, piso 3, Office 403, Col. Narvarte, Mexico D.F. Z.c. 03020 tel. 55193969.kwanumzendf@gmail. com. • Enseñanza clara, mente clara. Por favor únete a nosotros en las prácticas de miércoles a las 19 hrs y domingo a las 10 am. A Kwan Um School Zen Center.

YOGA CENTERS ROLLING MEADOWS RETREAT 83 Sullivan Rd, Brooks, ME 04921. (888) 666-6412, info@, www.rollingmeadowsretreat. com • Silent Retreats offering unique, embodied inquiries into meditation, movement meditation, and yoga at a 100acre sanctuary of natural beauty and silence in mid-coast Maine. 3–7 day scheduled retreats led by resident teachers Patricia Brown and Surya Chandra Das. Also offering silent retreats during winter months in India, Italy, and Costa Rica.




When you sit, allow the Buddha in you to sit. When you walk, allow the Buddha in you to walk. Enjoy your practice. If you don’t become a Buddha, who will? — T H I C H N H AT H A N H


From Love’s Garden (Parallax Press)


over money








Lion's Roar Vol 1 No 4 (Sep 2016)