by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi
Book of Serenity, Case 79: Changsha Advancing a Step
Listen to this talk
The bodhisattva appearing as a maiden on the banks of golden sand was a special spirit. Stuffing pastries in a crystal jar, who would dare to roll it? Without going into the frightening waves, it’s hard to find a suitable fish. How about one expression of walking relaxed with big strides? Read more
by Suzanne Taikyo Gilman, Mountain Record Editor
Not a story I like to tell, but years ago I got into a fight on the subway. A big-shouldered, well-groomed man in his 40s was tearing down a safe sex poster which showed some playfully kissing teenagers, straight and gay. I questioned him angrily as he tore up the poster, and he stopped. That’s where I could have left it. I had stepped forward without fear or self-consciousness, and I had been effective. But now I was livid with self-righteous anger and so was he. Having created a second problem, I was missing a vital element of skillfulness—to find my ground and learn to speak up differently. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
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.
To be free, you have to let go of hate. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more