Category: Arts

Bhakti Blossoms {Book Review}

By Tammy Takahashi As a young, fledgling writer in high school, I often found myself penning anything from creative writing exercises to poems, songs and short stories (even a film treatment—I was ambitious!) featuring male protagonists. I never questioned this tendency. My teachers as well, both male and female, never asked me to reflect on why I might not be writing women characters or female perspectives. It took me many years, and a male protagonist-driven novella later, to realize what seems so glaringly obvious: I had been under-examining and also not understanding or embracing a massive part of who...

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The Buddha’s Dream of Liberation {Book Review}

  By John Pendall James William Coleman has done something that I once dreamed of doing, which is great because it means less work for me. The Buddha’s Dream of Liberation: Freedom, Emptiness, and Awakened Nature is part sight-seeing guide for Buddhist time travelers, and part apologetic essay on Western Buddhism. Coleman takes us through the, “Three Turnings of the Wheel,” which are three major paradigm shifts in Buddhism. He also paints Secular Buddhism as a kind of Fourth Turning—laying out some of the risks and benefits of modernizing Buddhism. Coleman doesn’t just write off-the-cuff in this piece; he...

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Single White Monk: Tales of Death, Failure, and Bad Sex (Although Not Necessarily in That Order) {Book Review}

  By Brent R. Oliver If you’ve read Shozan Jack Haubner’s first book, Zen Confidential, you know he’s an unorthodox figure in modern Buddhism, especially considering he’s a monastic. If you haven’t read it, you’ll just have to trust me on that. And also, you should read it because it’s fucking great. His follow up, Single White Monk: Tales of Death, Failure, and Bad Sex (Although Not Necessarily in That Order), is further proof that his approach and habits are anything but usual. But don’t think his twisted tales and odd tendencies obscure his spiritual insights. Mr. Haubner is...

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Can We Find a Sangha Built around an American Buddhist Practice? (Part 2)

  By Joe Lamport This year marks the bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth, which explains in part why I ended up with a copy of Walden Pond in my lap this summer. Even in this advanced age, it turns out that Thoreau has something very important to teach us about the successful integration of the spiritual traditions of East and West. Thoreau provides us with still fresh insight about the cultivation of Buddha-awareness within the framework of our familiar western ways of thinking; he points us down a path where we can discover a homegrown Dharma of our own. I should...

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Love All, Exclude None: Non-Violence in the Wake of 9/11

By Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan When September 11th became a distinct day in history by the loss of life and the days forward with our response, I remember waking up in Chicago getting ready to go downtown. I was freshly married, recently graduated from The Art Institute of Chicago. On that early fall morning, I was brushing my teeth getting ready for the train ride downtown when my friend, Mitzi, called. She told me in an urgent hushed tone, “Turn on your television.” I did, and my eyes, my brain, couldn’t quite comprehend the images on the screen. I sat down...

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