RJ ESKOW was drawn into the fractious world of blogging after the 2004 presidential election. He recounts some of his escapades on the political front in “Above the Fray.” “The burnout rate for politically involved people in this country is overwhelming,” he tells us. “It took out an entire generation in the sixties. Now the powerful are engaging in a verbal war of attrition against anyone who disagrees with them. Keeping up your spirits—in both the literal and deeper senses—can be difficult. People are often drawn into a conflict between being ‘nice’ and being effective. That’s tough for some of us—but then, they’re counting on that to take us out of the struggle. And a lot of the time, it does.”
KAREN READY has worked as Tricycle’s copy editor since our second issue. In this issue, she is also the author of the On the Cushion column. “Following the hugely positive response toTricycle’s ‘Commit to Sit’ feature in the spring issue, I wondered about those readers whose back pain may have led them to break off sitting sessions or even give up practice altogether. I hope this article will encourage them to take new steps toward adopting a meditation practice that can support them for a lifetime.”
PAMELA GAYLE WHITE, who translated and adapted SHERAB GYALTSEN RINPOCHE’s instructions on Chenrezi visualization for this issue’s On Practice (“The Form of Compassion”), explains, “Rinpoche teaches that kindheartedness and compassion are cardinal human qualities. He affirms—and constantly demonstrates through his warmth and wisdom—that Chenrezi awakens these qualities in each of us. As he guides thousands of Nepalese and Tibetan disciples in Chenrezi retreats several times a year in Swayambhunath, Nepal, he likes the idea of giving people from all horizons the chance to connect with this form of meditation.”
ANDREW SCHELLING’s essay on Japanese linked-verse poetry, “Whirling Petals, Windblown Leaves,” appears here. He tells us, “I’ve been increasingly drawn by the collaborative form of poetry the Japanese masters called renga. What you do is gather a group of poets, learn a bit about your immediate bioregion, and then write together, with your eyes narrowed to the passing seasons and natural cycles. Kerouac called for a ‘rucksack revolution,’ people going to the mountains to write mad, solitary Buddhist poems. Our hunger for sangha means the next step for poetry will be the renga revolution—wild, communal Buddhist poems.”
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