The Buddhist Review

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Winter 1996

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In This Issue

Special Sections

Special Section

Death, Sex, Enlightenment & Money

The first time I came to the Tibetan center the teachings were just beginning and I found a place on the floor in the back of the shrine room. Had I arrived five minutes earlier, I might have had time to inspect a gaudy altar, or to inspect the dead-eyed devotees and spiritual show-offs, and […]

By Gail Farley


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Letters to the Editor Winter 1996

Conflicts of Interest Every time I turn to your letters page I find another batch of readers canceling their subscriptions, citing some outrage to their sensibilities like gay tantra or Richard Gere. Do you realize that if this trend continues, you are going to be left with a readership comprising just a load of open-minded, […]

By Tricycle

On Gardening

A Non-Repeating Universe

Years ago Richard Baker Roshi described the field of Zen practice as a “non-repeating universe.” Whenever I sow seeds, I remember these words. Every garden sown from seed is a world within a world, a complete mystery. And this winter, in particular, as I roll more than thirty-five varieties of wild-land seed into little clay […]

By Wendy Johnson


Books in Brief

LAO-TZU’S TAOTECHINGTranslated by Red PineMercury House: San Francisco, 1996.179 pp., $12.95 (paper). This new translation by Red Pine (himself a kind of modem-day Taoist) comes complete with 2,000 years of commentaries on each of Lao-Tzu’s laconic verses on the Tao, or Way. THE GOLDEN LETTERSTranslated, with Introduction and Commentariesby John Myrdhin ReynoldsSnow Lion: Ithaca, New […]

By Tricycle

On Practice

Liberating Self-Righteousness

Some aspiring Buddhists appear to be hindered in their progress by a form of secular Calvinism that has persisted as a deeply buried fossil from childhood. This fossil manifests itself as self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is another word for spiritual arrogance. This arrogance limits our aspiration to take a larger, compassionate view of the world. It also […]

By Tarma Dode

From The Academy

Digesting the Dharma, Part I

Last year, a new anthology of Buddhist texts, entitled Buddhism in Practice, was published. It seems that only once in each generation does someone have the audacity to produce such a book, and in this case, I was that person. In so doing, I placed myself in a long and venerable tradition of trying to […]

By Donald S. Lopez Jr.

Uncommon Sense

The War on Words and Images

It’s that time when responsible citizens pinch their nostrils tightly, hold their collective breaths, and vote for the lesser of many unsavory evils. Most of us have listened to enough empty rhetoric in this presidential year to gag a maggot. But the real political battlegrounds are not so much at the national level as in […]

By Sam Hamill

Parting Words

Black Teapot

When I say “the black teapot” I’m surprised that everyone knows what I’m talking about. So little of it is black. And yet you and I know which teapot I mean. We’ve agreed to call this thing a black teapot. If you ask me to get the black teapot from the kitchen, chances are I won’t […]

By Deanna Forbes

Editors View

Whaddya Mean, “We”?

So far we have received some fifty responses to the anti-gay letters published in the previous issue. To provide a brief synopsis: in issue number 20 we published an interview with Tibetan scholar Jeffrey Hopkins and excerpts from his revision of a famous text, The Tibetan Arts of Love, into a manual for gay practitioners. […]

By Helen Tworkov

In the News

In the News Winter 1996

IN MEMORIAM: PHILIP YAMPOLSKY Philip Yampolsky, renowned translator and scholar of Zen Buddhism, died of complications due to pneumonia on July 28, 1996. He was seventy-five years old. Yampolsky, born in New York City on October 20, 1920, was the grandson of anthropologist Franz Boas, who founded Columbia’s Department of Anthropology. He graduated from Columbia […]

By Tricycle

Dharma Talk

A Single Handful

To call something “a fundamental principle of Buddhism” is correct only if, first, it is a principle that aims at the quenching of dukkha (suffering) and, second, it has a logic that one can see for oneself without having to believe others. The Buddha refused to deal with those things that don’t lead to the […]

By Buddhadasa Bhikkhu


The Design of Poetry

These pages are from the book The Design of Poetry by Carl Lehmann-Haupt.The book is modeled on those little books of poetic form that attempt to desrcibe the different aspects of poetry, such as rhyme and assonance, metrical feet, the sonnet, the lyric, and so forth. But its real purpose is to isolate and display […]

By Carllehmann Haupt


Keep Sweeping: A Ch’an Life in Rural Tennessee

If anyone in Monteagle, Tennessee, took notice of a “Chinaman” walking down the street in 1965, dressed like a coolie, they would have dismissed the implausibility with one of two explanations: He worked as a cook at the Holiday Inn, or maybe he owned the shirt laundry in Tullahoma. Ta Tsung was in fact a […]

By Michael Sierchio