The Buddhist Review

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Spring 1996

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In This Issue

Special Sections

Special Section

Kuan Yin

Over the course of his travels in Asia, the Buddhist scholar John Blofeld (1913-1987) became an expert on Avalokiteshvara. During a sojourn in China in the mid-1930s, Blofeld encountered an old Chinese nun living in an abandoned monastery. After protesting that he would have nothing to learn from an unlettered old woman such as herself, […]

By John Blofeld

Special Section

Ten Thousand Sutras (after Hakuin)

The body is the body of the Buddha.Like ice and water, the one is always in the other. In the middle of the lakewe long for a drink of water. Adrift in Samsarawe dream of blissful Nirvana. This body is the body of the Buddha,this moment an eternity. Saying I love you, the deed is […]

By Sam Hamill

Special Section

The Kannon Sutra

Toward the end of his life, Zen Master Hakuin [1689 -1769] took an interest in aspects of life outside the monastery walls, including social and governmental concerns. In the passage that follows, excerpted from a letter addressed in 1754 to Lord Nabeshima on the subject of the virtuous leader, he discusses the merit of reciting […]

By Hakuin

Special Section


The following passage outlines the method of visualizing Chenrezi, the Tibetan Avalokiteshvara. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991) was one of the principal holders of the Nyingmapa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. People these days, with their limited intellect, short lifespan, and feeble diligence, would find it difficult to master all the elaborate visualizations found in the tantras. […]

By Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Special Section

Avalokiteshvara In Tibet

According to an old Tibetan tradition, the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara has a special relation with the people of Tibet. A bodhisattva is a warrior or hero of enlightenment, a being who is on the path to buddhahood. But in a sense, Avalokiteshvara is even more than a buddha. After attaining buddhahood, he voluntarily returned to the […]

By Robert A. F. Thurman

Special Section

The Lotus Sutra

The Lotus Sutra, expounded by the Buddha at the end of his teaching career, was first written down in approximately 200 C.E. In the following excerpt, taken from Chapter 25, Shakyamuni Buddha explains to a member of the assembly, the Bodhisattva of Inexhaustible Intent, why Avalokiteshvara is called “Perceiver of the World’s Sounds.” The Buddha […]

By Shakyamuni Buddha



Apology of a Buddhist Soldier

Around the neck of every American soldier hangs a pair of “dog tags” on a metal chain. Their purpose is to identify the name, Social Security number, blood type, and religious denomination of the owner’s mortal remains upon his or her death. On the final line of my dog tags one finds a designation many […]

By Lawrencep Rockwood
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Brief Teachings

From Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand

Geshe Potowa said if you do not think about death, you will ignore this life. If you do not ignore this life, you will be influenced by the eight worldly concerns: being happy if you receive gifts and unhappy if you do not; being happy if comfortable and unhappy if not; happy if famous and […]

By Pabongka Rinpoche

In Transition

Lex Hixon

The awakened mind has never come into being and so cannot disappear or be destroyed, nor can it be analyzed into component parts, nor described or manipulated in any way. The mind itself, abiding calmly as itself, itself constitutes enlightenment, the utmost, unspeakable delight called omniscience by sages of Mahayana. This enlightened knowing, which knows […]

By Tricycle

From The Academy

A Sangha-less Sangha

One becomes a Buddhist by going for refuge in the “three gems”—in other words by saying, “I go for refuge to the Buddha, I go for refuge to the dharma, I go for refuge to the sangha.” But what exactly are these three gems? This was a question that vexed the early Buddhist community. When […]

By Donald S. Lopez Jr.

Mind On-Line

Life in the MUD

Imagine a world in which the inhabitants create their own physical environments and characters by writing them into existence. In this world, it is possible to converse, exchange gestures, express emotions, and even have sex. Such are the virtual worlds of MUDs (Multi-User Domains)—popular computer-based multi-player simulations which have evolved from the fantasy role-playing game […]

By Mitchell Kapor


Letters to the Editor Spring 1996

On Monks, Models & Misnomers I read your collection of articles on monasticism with interest [Winter 1995]. I am glad that a forum exists to discuss such aspects of Buddhism from a wide variety of perspectives; but the question of “monasticism,” in contrast to “lay” practice, created a polarization that could have been circumvented had […]

By Tricycle

Editors View

Nothing to Lose

From a Buddhist view we are all ego addicts, in service of our own special interests. The good news is that liberation already resides within us, but to help prime the pump of awakening, we must leave behind our “possessions”—not in terms of what we literally own, but rather in terms of what owns us: […]

By Helen Tworkov

Uncommon Sense

Saying No to the War on Drugs

Nowhere is institutionalized American racism more obvious than in our judicial system. One in three black males between the ages of fourteen and twenty-eight is on probation or parole, or is incarcerated. Nearly fifty percent of the more than one million men locked up in this country are black or Hispanic. A black man busted […]

By Sam Hamill

On Gardening

Spring Weeds

Spring comes to the coast of California in early February, like an over-eager dinner guest arriving an hour and a half before the appointed feast. We have barely recovered from bringing in the November harvest of Baldwin apples and winter potatoes when spring touches the bleak, windswept land. With a mixture of dread and awe, […]

By Wendy Johnson

In the News

In the News Spring 1996

PRETENDER TO THE THRONE In our last issue we reported on the outrage of Chinese officials when the Dalai Lama announced that a six-year­ old Tibetan boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, had been determined to be the reincarnation of the tenth Panchen Lama, who died in January 1989. The Chinese government claimed that, under the terms ofa 1792 Qing […]

By Tricycle


After Ikkyu

for Jack Turner 1. Our minds buzz like beesbut not the bees’ minds.It’s just wings not heartthey say, moving to another flower.  2. The well pit is beneath where the pumpshed burnedyears ago with a living roar, a fire lion. Down in the pit, charred timbers, green grass, one burdock,a vernal pool where frogs live trapped […]

By Jim Harrison