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Buddhadharma : Summer 2013
SUMMER 2 0 1 3 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 9 EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS TO LETTERS@THEBUDDHADHARMA.COM My immediate reaction to Mr. Arundel’s writing was that he is coming from a place of judgment of Boston drivers and T riders, rather than welcoming the gifts they bring to his daily commute. And I sense a fear in him as well. We can choose to attribute our concerns, frustrations, or fears to other commuters and modes of transportation, or we can reflect on what we are bringing to the situation. Each time I return to Boston I embrace the challenge of our streets and drivers, and I have learned to admire the flashing high beams in my rearview mirror, the robust one- finger waves, and even the “Boston left” as an opportunity to love my fellow commuters and wake up to what could otherwise be a mindless commute. Mitch Gordon Northborough, Massachusetts In “Lost in Beantown” the author spends the first three-quarters of the article Boston bashing, leaving metothinkhehadmoreofanaxto grind than any revelations to share (the last quarter of the article). It was hard to shake all of his negativity as the article progressed. If the ratio of content were reversed, I believe my impression would have been much more positive and I might have given more credence to the genuineness of his insights. As written, his assertion that his torments were a vehicle for growth rang hollow. Paul Shields Philadelphia, Pennsylvania WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK the following people and organizations for their assistance with this issue of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly Ahimsako Bhikkhu • Hugo Glendinning • Josh Korda Sarah Johnson • Lucy Lambriex • Sarit Rogers André Slob • Mary Stancavage • Marcy Vaughn Drew Wittig • Allison Choying Zangmo LETTERS Ethical Guidelines Well said, Tamara! [“What Are You Waiting For?” Spring 2013] There is no reason for us to turn away from the stan- dards in existence for therapists. Some people think that wild and crazy (magical) practices are necessarily part of the Buddhist tradition. But there are teachers who can offer wisdom without harming their students. Offering transformative practice within an ethical framework may seem less exciting, but it is the real thing. Grace Schireson North Fork, California Confessions of a Zen Novelist Ruth Ozeki’s article, “Confessions of a Zen Novelist” [Spring 2013], struck a chord with me as a visual artist. I, too, struggled with my art-making once I began to deepen my Zen practice, but until now I was not able to understand why. This article has given me a place to begin my own exploration of this issue. I realize that what I have lost is my rea- son for creating art, so I intend to explore new avenues of inspiration for my art and let my Zen practice continue to do what it does best. I have some work to do to resolve this conflict, but I thank you for the pointer. Susan Feeny El Paso, Texas Lost in Beantown In the Spring 2013 issue, Brian Arundel reflects on his ongoing struggles with Boston drivers and his own spiritual practice. Perhaps Pema Chödrön has not ridden the T or even driven in Boston; however, she says, “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relation- ship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity” (The Places that Scare You). ILLUSTRATIONWESLEYALLSBROOK