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Buddhadharma : Summer 2006
buddhadharma| 89 |summer 2006 eve & the Fire horse, a film about a Buddhist girl growing up in Western culture, won the Spe- cial Jury Prize in the World Dra- matic category at the Sundance Film Festival this spring. It fol- lows two first-generation Cana- dian sisters from a superstitious Chinese family who experience friction between their Buddhist upbringing and their Christian surroundings. Writer-director Julia Kwan says the movie is based loosely on her own upbring- ing with her Buddhist family in British Columbia. ■ thich nhat hanh and Marshall rosenBerg, director of the Center for Nonviolent Communi- cation, were both recognized at the Global Village Foundation’s Bridge of Peace awards ceremony on March 25, in Los Angeles. Representatives from Deer Park Monastery accepted the award for Thich Nhat Hanh from actor Martin Sheen and director Oliver Stone, a former recipient. ■ On March 26 tenryu ste- ven allen was installed by Suzuki Roshi’s son hoitsu suZuKi roshi as the founding abbot of the new Dragon Moun- tain Zendo, located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Crest- one, Colorado. Tenryu Allen and his wife, Angelique Farrow, moved to Colorado in 1998. ■ A five-week residential summer pro- gram at the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, New York, combines Zen practice and the arts. Participants are immersed in the regular ZMM monastic schedule and attend five weekend-long workshops, in which they study a variety of dis- ciplines with artists such as painter John Muth, poet Ed Sand- ers, and photographer and ZMM abbot John Daido Loori, Roshi. ■ sanDy Boucher was among 16 women honored at this year’s Outstanding Women in Buddhism awards ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, on International Wom- en’s Day. Ven. Samaneri Rattana- vali initiated the award program five years ago to “empower wom- en’s leadership in Buddhism around the world.” ■ The 4th gloBal conFerence on BuDDhisM will take place June 10 and 11 in Perth, Australia, con- vened by Ajahn Brahmavamso, spiritual director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. All traditions of Buddhism are repre- sented at this biennial gathering. Discussion topics include wom- en’s position in Buddhism, reli- gious fundamentalism, and the role of Buddhism in politics. ■ The 9th saKyaDhita conFer- ence on Buddhist Women takes place June 17 to 21 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sakyadhita president Karma Lekshe Tsomo (below, left) says holding the con- ference in Malaysia, a predomi- nantly Muslim country, “is the perfect place to delve into the top- ics of multiculturalism, globaliza- tion, religious difference, and tolerance.” Dr. Sharon A. Suh (right), author of Being Buddhist the Beats anD BuDDhisM By Katie Zdybel a new museum in san Francisco remembers a countercultural movement that played an important role in the popularization and americanization of buddhism. the beat museum, which opened in January, houses a one-of-a -kind collection of letters, first editions, and photos from beat artists such as Jack Kerouac, allen Ginsberg, and lawrence Ferlinghetti. though buddhism had been practiced in america for some fifty years before the beat movement emerged in the 1950’s, museum curator Jerry Cimino says the beats played a critical role in mak- ing buddhism accessible to americans: “i really do believe that five guys – Jack Kerouac, allen Ginsberg, Gary snyder, D. t. suzuki, and alan Watts – were responsible for bringing buddhism to mainstream america. they really woke people up to what else was out there.” before he decided to make the museum his full-time occupation, Cimino worked as a computer programmer, quietly building up a collec- tion of beat memorabilia. in January he moved the collection to a small former hardware store in north beach, a community often referred to as “the heart and soul of san Francisco” and a favorite haunt of the beats. it was at the cafés and stages of this bohemian neighbor- hood that prominent beats recited their poetry, talked buddhism, and wrote words that stirred the passions of a generation. in 1955, allen Ginsberg gave his first reading of his epic poem “howl” at the now defunct six Gallery, located just a few blocks away from the beat museum. Jack Kerouac, perhaps the most popular of the beat writers, wrote in On the Road that san Francisco was the place where he “had the beatest time of [his] life.” While the collection is significant, the best beat stories are told by Cimino, who is well versed in their literature and outlook: “the beats were just a collection of friends who wanted to support each other’s work, who felt good about what they were doing, and embraced the moment while doing it,” he says. “that’s where buddhism comes in.” When he’s not running the beat museum, Cimino packs up his rv and tours the country in the “beat museum on Wheels” with John Cassady (son of neal Cassady, Kerouac’s adventurous friend who was the model for the main character in On the Road). Cimino and Cassady give presentations to college students, promoting beat themes of tol- erance, inclusiveness, and compassion. they expect to tour the east Coast this fall. ➤ continued page 91 Beat museum employee Brian Gordon (left) with curator Jerry Cimino. ChrishelCermanas-benGeDaviDmaunGahnaFenDerKatiezDybelluCymassiePhenix