using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Summer 2013
80 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY SUMMER 2 0 1 3 Ferraro, who has led the San Francisco sangha since 2004, echos the need for dharma communities where people feel a genuine personal connection. “At a bunch of groups, you just go there, sit, hear something, and then leave and never even have an interaction, or maybe just have a terrible one.” says Ferraro, “Maybe you don’t feel met, or maybe you don’t feel seen or acknowl- edged, or whatever.” ATS groups take simple but meaning- ful steps to break the ice. “At the begin- ning of a group, I’ll say, now introduce yourself to three people in the room that you don’t know,” says Levine. “That way, even the people who have been coming for five years can look around and think, who’s new here, who don’t I know? They can reach out and say, ‘Hi, my name is _____. Welcome.’ That makes a difference to people.” Indeed, one of the hallmarks of ATS is speaking from and about personal experience, an approach informed by the methodology of twelve-step groups. Levine, Korda, and Ferraro have all been through addiction recovery them- selves, and they estimate that about 50 percent of the sangha is in recovery as well. “There’s a certain amount of dis- closure that the [recovery] community is used to, a casualness of conversation, that eye-level thing,” says Ferraro. “It informs ATS in so many ways, like in people reaching out to each other.” Against the Stream’s peer-led groups are another recovery-inspired element, making community an essential form of support on the path, with or without a teacher present. These groups began cropping up when people who had attended ATS retreats struggled to find sanghas at home. “It happened organi- cally,” says Levine, “from me encourag- ing people to get the support they were seeking. ‘If it doesn’t exist, create it’ was my attitude, and I saw that maybe there was something I could do to help sup- port them.” As more groups formed, Levine decided to create a training pro- gram for group facilitators and, later, a four-year program for training teachers, which is about to begin its second cycle. Levine is now developing a Buddhist addiction-recovery program called Ref- uge Recovery as an alternative to the Judeo-Christian approach used in the twelve-step model, but it has been a reluctant undertaking. “I never really wanted to be typecast or pigeonholed as the Buddhist recovery guy,” he says. “I feel like Buddhism and the dharma are just so much bigger. Yes, it was the suf- fering of addiction that brought me into the dharma, but I want to serve every- one, not just the recovering people.” This view is evident in the variety of ways ATS teachers present the dharma. Korda, for instance, grew up practicing Zen and is a self-identified “neurosci- ence geek” who regularly draws on sci- entific research in his teaching to explain how Buddhist practices directly engage or disengage different parts of the brain. “Hard facts really reach people,” he says. “I’m not just telling them to do it, but telling them why.” In San Francisco, Ferraro, who trains in Tibetan Buddhism as well as the Theravada tradition, regularly invites outside teachers to the standing-room- only Friday-night meetings. “We bring in as many voices as we can, just to show that this is not a cult of personality,” he says. These encounters can sometimes be intense for guests not used to the eye-level interaction of the ATS sangha. “We’ve kind of trained them to be an outspoken and challenging sangha,” says Ferraro. “It has that vibe, just on the ground.” Now based in Los Angeles, Levine sees the growth of Against the Stream as a natural unfolding. “A lot of peo- ple have shown up and said, ‘We like it, we want to live it, and we want to support each other in it.’ ” And while ATS is still fairly new, it’s already help- ing transform the American Buddhist landscape. As for the teachers who are leading the way, they haven’t lost touch with the inspiration and enthusiasm that brought them to this point. “This whole vibe, that it ain’t Buddhism unless it’s boring—I think we really challenge that,” says Ferraro, “because we’re hav- ing a fucking blast doing it.” Shambhala Sun online store now offers attractively priced small format prints of your favourite calligraphies and Buddhist- inspired art taken from the pages of our magazines. www.shambhalasun.com New Prints for Small Spaces Shambhala Sun Foundation An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly. Calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh