GOING GREEN FOR THE GREEN
Thank you for your thoughtful editorial in the Summer 2009 issue. As a member of Green America, I was thrilled to read that Frank Locantore was able to help Tricycle “go green.”
The movement to become environmentally responsible is more than “greenwashing.” In my opinion, it indicates a shift in business culture. Companies are beginning to realize that in order to keep customers and attract new ones, they must show their dedication to preserving the natural environment.
“Son of a Gun”—what a brilliant piece of writing! (Spring 2009) This wonderfully entertaining, real-world story captures the contradictions of our times and the compassion required to resolve them with humor and poignancy—perfectly capped by a request for anonymity. Thank you, brother, wherever you are.
FACING THE FACTS
I was intrigued by “First There Is a Mountain (Then There Is No Mountain)” in the Fall 2008 issue, but I was more intrigued by the apparent lack of reader response to this piece by Donald S. Lopez, Jr., about the Buddha’s Mount Meru. The article made me realize that of the many Buddhist books I have read over the years I could recall none that mentioned Mount Meru or even touched on the general proposition of Buddhist cosmology.
Surely this wasn’t an oversight. Isn’t there a degree of picking and choosing going on here? If the “nuts and bolts” of Buddhist practice work for us, should we bother with this esoteric and frankly unbelievable stuff at all? The article left me with an interesting quandary: For so many of us, the appeal of the dharma has been its practicality and ability to withstand scrutiny. Can we then, with a clear conscience, simply abandon or turn away from Mount Meru? First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, indeed!
JUST BEING THERE
“The Lucky Dark” (Spring 2008) helped so much in dealing with my mother’s recent death. My mom had cancer for 12 years and was in hospice for 6 weeks, which allowed a lot of time for pondering and acceptance. Her death was not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but the grief was more manageable after reading and rereading Joan Halifax’s article.
My grandfather also died a long death in a nursing home, and I knew I didn’t want anyone else in my family to die that way, myself included. When it was my mom’s turn, though, and my turn to make decisions, I didn’t know what else to do. I wasn’t sure how to change her experience, physically or psychically. Right or wrong, I only knew how to change my experience of it. My mom was Catholic and, being raised Catholic, I knew what she clung to as she waited for the “lucky dark.” The challenge for me was to not get caught up in the rituals that gave her comfort in her final days; your article helped me to keep perspective and be present for her. Thank you.