Leslie Mancillas, a professor of writing at Santa Rosa Junior College, describes the transformation she and her mother underwent when they began practicing Nichiren Buddhism. During Mancillas’s childhood, her mother had become addicted to drugs and abused her and her siblings, but their relationship changed when her mother was introduced to Buddhism and challenged Mancillas to chant “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo,” a practice that invokes the Lotus Sutra, for 100 days. Mancillas told Tricycle in late March, “During this challenging time for our world, I feel deep appreciation that my story of utilizing spirituality and Buddhism to create hope can be shared with others.” She also relates her story to her students—many of whom face challenges of disability, addiction, and language barriers—to show them the power of hope and resilience.
Susanne Billig, the editor-in-chief of the German Buddhist magazine Buddhismus aktuell, has worked as a telephone operator, genetic laboratory scientist, science journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. The film Verfolgt (Hounded), for which Billig wrote the script, won the Golden Leopard award at the Locarno Film Festival in 2006. For this issue, her interview with sociologist Dr. Werner Vogd about the systemic nature of teacher-student abuse in Buddhist sanghas was translated into English.
ANN TASHI SLATER
Ann Tashi Slater’s writing has been published by the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Tin House, Catapult, AGNI, Granta, and HuffPost. Her current projects include a memoir about reconnecting with her Tibetan roots on a mother-daughter pilgrimage to her ancestral homeland. A longtime resident of Tokyo, she teaches literature at Japan Women’s University. In “Travelers,” a woman reckons with aging and death after returning home from her grandmother’s funeral in the Himalayan mountains.
VANESSA ZUISEI GODDARD
Vanessa Zuisei Goddard is a writer and lay Zen teacher who has led retreats and meditation workshops for ten years. She is particularly interested in running as a form of zazen practice, which she writes about in her book Still Running: The Art of Meditation in Motion, forthcoming from Shambhala Publications. For 14 years, Goddard lived as a monastic at Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, New York. In this issue, she investigates what makes a space sacred.
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