Articles & Essays

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The Night Journey of Nicodemus

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by Philip Zaleski

The words are magisterial, even harsh: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

Astonishing idea, to be born again! This cryptic teaching, given by Jesus in Jerusalem at the beginning of his ministry, bewilders Nicodemus, a pious Jew and member of the Sanhedrin, who has come to the celebrated Rabbi for guidance.

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Birth and Death

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by Eihei Dogen, translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi

As a Buddha is in birth and death, there is no birth and death.” It is also said, “As a buddha is not in birth and death, a buddha is not deluded by birth and death.”

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Mind Beyond Death

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by Dzogchen Ponlop

Whenever we embark on a long journey, there is a sense of death and rebirth. The experiences we go through have a transitional quality. The moment we step outside our house and close the door, we begin to leave our life behind. We say goodbye to family and friends and to the familiar rooms and routines that we inhabit.

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Karma, or Cause and Effect

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by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

Let us explore the nature of karma, because I think karma is quite misunderstood in the West. There are various understandings in different religious traditions of the meaning of karma, but here we’ll examine the Buddhist understanding of that term. Actually, the word karma in Sanskrit means “action.” It also means “work.”

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From Orategama Zokusho

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by Hakuin Ekaku

What is this root of life? It is that instant of ignorance that has come down through endless kalpas of time. Evolving through heaven and hell, this evil world and the Pure Land, that the three evil realms and the six evil paths are made to appear is all because of the power of this root of life. Although it is nothing but dreamlike, illusory thoughts, it can block the Great Matter of seeing into one’s own nature more effectively than an army of a hundred thousand demons.

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Liberation: Uncoiling in Space

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by Francesca Fremantle

What is liberation? How is it accomplished? Who is liberated, and from what? The state of liberation is the ultimate goal. It has been given many names and has been described in many different ways, although it is essentially inexpressible. It is our true, innate nature, our inalienable birthright, yet we do not recognize it. We seem to be imprisoned in a condition of unknowing.

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Why Beings Fare As They Do After Death

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by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering by stages in the Kosalan country with a large Sangha of monks, and eventually he arrived at a Kosalan brahmin village named Sala.

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