The Buddhist Review

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Winter 2011

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In This Issue



Special Section: Generosity

Generosity, or dana, lies at the very foundation of Buddhist practice. As vipassana teacher Gil Fronsdal writes, “the Buddhist path begins and ends with this virtue.” In the following section, Gil Fronsdal, Professor Dale Wright, and the Buddha himself teach on this transformative practice so central to all Buddhist schools. We invite you to read […]

By Tricycle



Kalachakra 2011

Since 1954, the 14th Dalai Lama has periodically given public initiations, including the performance of rituals and the creation and dismantling of a special mandala, known as the Kalachakra (Wheel of Time). Tracing its history to the teachings of Shakyamuni, the Kalachakra is a vast tantric body of knowledge that is used by the five […]

By Don Farber


Featured Contributors Winter 2011

Spiritual teacher, activist, social critic, poet, Ph.D. in Buddhist psychology, and author of books like Zen Therapy, The Feeling Buddha, and Love and Its Disappointment, Dharmavidya David Brazier has packed several lifetimes into his 64 years. His essay “Living Buddhism” draws on many of them, notably his grounding in Carl Rogers’s Person Centered Approach to […]

By Tricycle

Brief Teachings

Intelligence & Investigation

Some people may think of spirituality as the practice of having faith in something. Some others may see the dharma as being like a spiritual massage. The way I see the dharma, however, is that intelligence and investigation are even more important than faith. To practice the dharma is to look into the content of […]

By Ogyen Trinley Dorje

This Buddhist Life

An interview with Vanessa Veselka

Profession: NovelistAge: 42Location: Portland, Oregon How did you get into Buddhism? I first heard of the Four Noble Truths in my early 20s from a boyfriend who used them to rationalize suffering. I thought it was a lousy philosophy aimed at keeping an economic caste system in place—Here, peon! Your misery is a natural state. […]

By Tricycle

Editors View

Encourage Others

A student asked Nakagawa-Soen during a meditation retreat, “I am very discouraged. What should I do?” Soen Roshi replied, “Encourage others.” This celebrated anecdote, which is included in Michael Wenger’s book 49 Fingers: A Collection of Modern American Koans (see this issue’s “Parting Words“), is one of those deceptively simple stories that, like many of […]

By James Shaheen

Web Exclusive

Spacious, Nothing Special

What was most remarkable about Charlotte Joko Beck was her spaciousness. Being with her was sharing this spaciousness, which is ours – though we often miss it. Joko translated this into practice to allow others to taste it and see what attachments and self-centeredness were hindering and obscuring this. Though some got caught up in […]

By Elihu Genmyo Smith
Compass Your Heart

Brief Teachings

Set the Compass of Your Heart

You need a reliable compass to set your direction and steer through the rough waters when you are going through hard times, when you’ve been betrayed, when you’ve lost your job, when you’ve lost friends or loved ones, when you’re in conflict with your family, or when you’re going through illness. But how can you […]

By Jack Kornfield


Letters to the Editor Winter 2011

The Tree of Life Though I thought that Linda Heuman’s recent piece, “Whose Buddhism Is Truest?” (Summer 2011), was fascinating and liberating, I would like to make a few remarks (as a nonspecialist) regarding the genealogical tree model that she says must be “cut down.” First, regarding the tree of life, which Heuman says biologists […]

By Tricycle

Brief Teachings

A Cheerful “Good Morning”

How many people wake up in the morning to hail their families with a cheerful “Good morning”? This may seem like a little thing, but the person who is unaccustomed to greeting others will find it hard to get that simple salutation out of her mouth. “I’ll be laughed at,” such a person thinks, and […]

By Nikkyo Niwano

Brief Teachings

Dear Abbey Dharma Winter 2011

Dear Abbey Dharma, I am a 30-year-old man with Asperger syndrome. I am an adopted Buddhist, but I find it difficult to be both autistic and Buddhist. Buddhists are not supposed to judge people as much, for example, but I find I get scared of certain kinds of people: they overwhelm my senses, and I […]

By Sylvia Boorstein
Lama Yeshe for article on visualizations in meditation

Brief Teachings


Using visualizations can be a powerful form of meditation—but don’t imagine visualizations are something new and foreign that you have no experience with. In reality, you visualize all day long. The breakfast you eat in the morning is a visualization; in an important way it is a kind of projection of your own mind. You […]

By Lama Yeshe


Books in Brief Winter 2011

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel’s Tell Me Something about Buddhism: Questions and Answers for the Curious Beginner (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2011, $16.95, paper, 128 pp.) is a simple yet uncommon introduction to the Buddha’s teachings. Manuel, an African- American Zen priest, takes a direct and personal approach to the dharma. “What does Buddhism have to do with […]

By Sam Mowe

Good Work

Healed People Heal People

Rusty Trunzo was in prison for over thirty years for committing murder. When he completed his sentence three years ago, he left prison as a radically different man. “The first nine years in there, it was all about staying numb,” Trunzo said. “Using [drugs], you know, and really not getting involved in much of anything.” […]

By Emma Varvaloucas

Parting Words

It Was Worth It

Case Seisen Fletcher was angered upon reading the Buddha’s statement that his allowing women to ordain would put Buddhism back 500 years. She went to Maezumi Roshi to ask him about it. After a few moments he said: “Well, it was worth it.” Commentary Taizan Maezumi Roshi (1931–1995) studied in and transmitted three teaching streams: […]

By DairyuMichael Wenger
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