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Buddhadharma : Spring 2011
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly spring 2 0 11 8 In the Forum about women in Buddhism (Winter 2010), Grace Schireson says, “I teach women that the most impor- tant thing when speaking up on behalf of gender issues is not to come from a wounded place.” This is a troubling statement for a number of reasons. First, how do we not come from a wounded place if the wound is pres- ent? We delude ourselves if we think that we can simply erase a deep wound by willing it so. When we attempt to do so we enter the dangerous realm of denial. Rather than attempt the impossible, to erase the wound, I think it is much more skillful to use the energy and power within the wound to achieve clarity. It’s taught that taking a human birth is a great blessing because as humans we experi- ence both pain and pleasure, unlike a birth in the heaven or hell realms. The pain, the wound, urges us on toward growth, and toward enlightenment. The wound, the pain, is also the source of compassion. Communication informed by the passion and compassion the wound so kindly provides is powerful communication. Jacqueline Kramer Sonoma, California It has been an absolute delight to see Buddhadharma champion women’s causes this past year. Be they barriers to monastic ordination or male-dominated structures in North America, these issues affect all of us in the Buddhist community. The editors and contributors of Buddhadharma deserve credit for raising the profile of the inimitable hero- ines who tirelessly strive to break down the barriers that hold us back from equal access to the dharma. If only Buddhadharma could extend such equal access to our Asian brothers and sisters. In both the Summer and Winter 2010 issues, it seems as though Asian women have lost their voice. Although they constitute Buddhism’s largest demographic, not a single Asian woman—American, convert or other- wise—was included in the discussion. There are many you could have asked to participate: Ven. Yi Fa, Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, Ven. Tenzin Kacho, Mushim Ikeda-Nash, Rev. Patti Usuki, or Anchalee Kurutach, to name a few. Instead, these issues were presented entirely through the eyes of white women. Liriel and Arun Southern California I’m writing to thank you for greatly enhanc- ing my solitary retreat experience on two occasions. In winter 2008 I brought along a few issues of Buddhadharma that I’d pre- viously set aside without reading to a ten- day retreat on the Pacific coast in central California. I thoroughly enjoyed including various articles and teachings from the mag- azines in the mix of practice and study. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I made sure NOT to read any new Buddhadharma issues and instead to save them for the next retreat. And so I brought along six issues to Dorje Khung Dzong retreat center in woodsy Southern Colorado this past December. One of those was the Fall 2009 issue, with the “Pointing Out Ordinary Mind” article by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. This teaching was like having a personal meditation instruc- tor (a meditation master at that!) right in the cabin with me, and beautifully complemented my sadhana practice. I must now refrain from reading any of the 2011 issues until my next retreat. How difficult that will be! Melanie Klein Los Angeles, California leTTers WE WElcomE your commEnts at: lEttErs@thEBuddhadharma.com In the Forum about women in Buddhism (Winter 2010), Grace Schireson says, “I teach women that the most impor- tant thing when speaking up on behalf of gender issues is not to come from a wounded place.” This is a troubling statement for a number of reasons. First, how do we not come from a wounded place if the wound is pres- ent? We delude ourselves if we think that we can simply erase a deep wound by willing it so. When we