The Buddhist Review

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Summer 2003

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In This Issue



Eye on the Ball

George Mumford, sports psychologist and L.A. Lakers meditation coach, talks about his troubled youth, his encounter with Buddhism, and the peculiar challenge of putting a ball into a basket. Katy Butler talks with the man behind the bench.

By Tricycle




In a little-known manuscript, as well as in his published works, Jack Kerouac imbued the haiku poem with his Beat ethic, yielding poems that he called “pops.” In true Kerouacian spirit, “pops” both embrace and reject the classical haiku form as they capture the fleeting everyday moments of American life. Barefoot by the seastopping to […]

By Jack Kerouac


Contributors Summer 2003

David R. Loy [“What Are You Really Afraid Of?” and “Why We Love War”] reflects on the interface between traditional Buddhist teachings and contemporary issues: “Buddhist insights must inform, and be informed by, what the modern social sciences have discovered about human motivation and interaction. That dialogue is still in its infancy, but it is […]

By Tricycle

On Practice

Dana Worksheet

Part of Summer 2003’s Special Section on Dana: The Practice of Giving. Here are some questions to help you develop your practice of dana. Your answers will suggest what you might like to change—and what you might like to keep the same—about how you give and receive. Answer these questions now, and again in a month […]

By Tricycle


Much Ado About Nothingness

The Cult of Nothingness:The Philosophers and the BuddhaRoger-Pol DroitTranslated by David Streight and Pamela VohnsonChapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003288 pp.; $59.95 (cloth), $24.95 (paper) What do people think about when they think about Buddhism? Maybe it’s the Dalai Lama, beaming amid a clutch of eager young monks or smiling benevolently at a […]

By John House


John Muir and One Breath

In his book Caught in Fading Light, Gary Thorp recounts his quest to spot a cougar in the mountains of northern California. Using the literary form of nikki bungaku, a traditional Japanese diary-writing style, he explores what it really means to seek, to discover, and to find.

By Gary Thorp

Parting Words

Parting Words

  What goes through the mind of the person who chooses to go to jail rather than betray his spiritual convictions? The person who, refusing to be swept up in the militant patriotism that precedes most wars, chooses loneliness and isolation instead? It is hard enough to imagine how such a person passes the days […]

By Clark Strand


More Precious Than Gold Dust

Historically, Tibet, like other Buddhist countries in Asia, had built-in ways to support dedicated practitioners and scholars who translated important texts. Some monasteries received tax money; others owned property leased to farmers in return for a percentage of the harvest. Unaffiliated yogis could meditate in rent-free caves, subsisting on rations donated by the wealthy, in […]

By Barbara Stewart

On Practice

Dana: The Practice of Giving

Dana (pronounced “DAH-nuh”), noun. Sanskrit, Pali, roughly “gift, alms, donation”; voluntary giving of materials, energy, or wisdom (dharma) to others; generosity; regarded as one of the most important Buddhist virtues. Simple acts of giving—whether material, emotional, or spiritual—are often riddled with ambivalence arising from craving and attachment. This section provides suggestions for our most common […]

By The Editors

On Gardening

A Taste as Old as Cold Water

Timeless spring has its sharp teeth buried in my back flank, urging me to finish the last plantings of April before summer rises up out of the warm ground to claim the garden. Today, Sarah and I are planting a young olive tree on the edge of the Edible Schoolyard garden at Martin Luther King, […]

By Wendy Johnson


Letters to the Editor Summer 2003

Faith In Faith?Andrew Cooper’s interesting article “Modernity’s God-Shaped Hole” [Spring 2003] concludes with the largely unsupported statement that “we humans are inescapably religious.” This declaration of faith in faith, which puts Cooper in the mythos camp rather than in the logos, or reason, camp, is a fallback position during these times of global multiculturalism and […]

By Tricycle


Books in Brief Summer 2003

Though Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, died in 1971, his influence lives on, as books by his students—and his students’ students—continue to roll out. Among the latest: No Beginning, No End: The Intimate Heart of Zen (Harmony Books, March, $18.95, cloth) by Jakusho (Bill) Kwong Roshi, one of Suzuki’s earliest […]

By Joan Duncan Oliver


Carried From Here

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa grew up in the Tibetan communities of India and Nepal, and moved to the United States to attend college and graduate school. Her collection of poems, Rules of the House, the first book of poetry published in English by a Tibetan woman, describes her coming-of-age during the Tibetan diaspora. Due to early […]

By Tricycle

On The Cushion

Receiving the Breath: Meditation Q & A

When I try to bring awareness to my breath, I feel instead like I’m interfering with its natural flow. What should I do? This is not an unusual experience. Throughout our lives, we breathe without effort; then the moment we try to breathe consciously, our breathing suddenly feels blocked, shortened, or constricted. Our bodies know […]

By Christina Feldman

Editors View

A Religion of Practice

To the chagrin of some and the delight of others, syncretic practices and novel applications of Buddhist wisdom continue to spring up in contemporary life. As we sent this issue to press, what struck me once again was the broad range of views and activities that have come to characterize the unfolding of dharma in […]

By James Shaheen
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