Articles & Essays

Photo by Jimmy Baikovicius

Diving

· Articles & Essays · ,

by Eve Ensler

When I was a child I loved diving. Diving off. Diving in. Diving off high stone quarry walls. Diving off high diving boards. I loved climbing the long ladder to the top. I loved my sky blue onepiece bathing suit. I loved how fast and compact I was at ten. I loved practicing the approach. I see now everything is in the approach. How high you get, how focused your attention, how clear your desire for flight and clean entry. I loved my naked wet feet on the board.

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Photo by Stephen Melkisethian

Living in Harmony

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by The Buddha

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mahayana Buddhism teaches various perspectives and ways of manifesting the precepts. The precept Actualize harmony: Do not be angry can be understood as an instruction to practice not giving rise to angry thoughts, words and actions when anger hasn’t yet arisen, and to practice facing and letting go of anger once it has arisen. Another perspective is that anger, when used selflessly and out of reverence for others, can be a compassionate act. Examples of both perspectives are found in the following three selections.

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Love and Compassion in Meditation and Action

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by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

The classical Buddhist commentaries hold that before one can meditate on compassion, one first has to master the meditation on loving-kindness. However, I consider this position too stern. I have found that when you are able to stabilize a warm feeling of sincere loving-kindness for sentient beings, you can begin to cultivate the meditation on compassion.

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Where Does It Hurt?

· Articles & Essays, Open Access · ,

Ruby Sales interviewed by Krista Tippet

 “Where does it hurt?” That’s a question the civil rights legend Ruby Sales learned to ask during the days of that movement—a question she found to have a power to drive to the heart of the matter. It’s a question we scarcely know how to ask in public life now. But it gets at human dynamics we will be living and reckoning with.

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Photo by Dr. Azzacov

Letting Go of Hate

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by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Darkness cannot drive out Darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness.

—Reverend Martin Luther King. Jr.

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hate so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

—James Baldwin

To be free, you have to let go of hate.

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Vowing Peace in a Time of War

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by Hozan Alan Senauke, Roshi

San Quentin Prison sits on a bare spit of land on San Francisco Bay. This is where the State of California puts prisoners to death. The gas chamber is still there, but for the last five years executions have been done by lethal injection in a mock-clinical setting that cruelly imitates a hospital room. Five hundred seventeen men and ten women wait on California’s death row, often for 15 or 20 years. The voting public generally supports this state-sanctioned violence.

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The Conscience of Words

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by Susan Sontag

We fret about words, we writers. Words mean. Words point. They are arrows. Arrows stuck in the rough hide of reality. And the more portentous, more general the word, the more they also resemble rooms or tunnels. They can expand, or cave in. They can come to be filled with a bad smell. They will often remind us of other rooms, where we’d rather dwell or where we think we are already living.

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The Four Highest Emotions

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by Ayya Khema

“True love exists when the heart is so broadly trained that it can embrace all human beings and all living creatures.”

When we think of love, we have ideas that are purely personal and, on the whole, quite fanciful. They are based in general on our desire to be loved, from which we expect fulfillment.

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From The Perfection of Wisdom

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translated by Edward Conze

The Venerable Subhuti, by the Buddha’s might, said to the Lord: The Lord has said, ‘Make it clear now, Subhuti, to the Bodhisattvas, the great beings, starting from perfect wisdom, how the Bodhisattvas, the great beings go forth into perfect wisdom!’ 

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Photo by Martin Mutch

The Great Mother Prajnaparamita

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by Judith Simmer-Brown

The Tibetan understanding of the feminine principle as mother was drawn from a variety of sources within the Buddhist tradition. The most important source was the Prajnaparamita-sutras of Indian Mahayana, which date from the second century B.C.E. and continued their influence in Tibet until the present day.

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