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 : Spri 2013
50 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY SPRING 2 0 1 3 FORUM SUSAN O'CONNELL • DAVID WHITEHORN • ANNA DOUGLAS When I’m Sixty-Four LEWIS RICHMOND is a Zen priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and the author of Aging as a Spiritual Practice (Gotham 2012). He lives in Mill Valley, California, where he leads the Vimala Sangha. Nowadays one can’t help noticing the sea of gray hairs at dharma programs and centers. The baby boomers who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, and who often began practicing the dharma then, are growing old—not that they readily acknowl- edge it. Meditators long accustomed to sitting cross-legged are now sitting in chairs; youth- ful dreams of enlightenment have been sup- planted by more immediate concerns about health, loss of vitality, finances, and adult children in crisis. How can dharma help aging boomers with these problems? And is it even the job of dharma centers and teachers to address these problems? Many American dharma centers have long defined themselves as places to learn and practice meditation. Most never intended to be a full-service church in the familiar Judeo-Christian model. Sometimes this difference is poignant. During a weekend retreat for sangha leaders, which I co-led sev- eral years ago, participants voiced uncertainty, confusion, and even anger over the new chal- lenges facing American sanghas. Participants complained: “Our sanghas want us to do weddings and baby blessings and memorial services. But we don’t know how! We haven’t been trained for this. We’re meditation teach- ers, not ministers. What can we do? We feel like our training failed us!” More recently I visited a very large Bud- dhist temple that serves a Japanese-American community. The congregation was about to celebrate its one-hundredth anniversary. The minister showed us a full-sized gymnasium where the temple runs a busy schedule of after-school sports and martial arts, plus several other buildings that host classes and gatherings for seniors, children, and parents and serve as a meeting place for community- outreach and social-service groups. Unlike the Japanese-American temple that functions as a full-service community church, meditation Buddhism and its centers and sanghas seem to have been founded on a narrower and more purely educational mis- sion. Yet now that so many practitioners are entering the last decades of their lives, these American dharma centers are facing an unan- ticipated challenge: the growing needs of an aging sangha. How will dharma practitioners and the centers and sanghas in which they prac- tice meet this challenge? Can we creatively develop practical strategies and adjustments to keep pace with an aging population? Or will we continue to muddle along, doing what we’ve always done, until our practitio- ners grow too old and sick to show up, and our once thriving centers diminish and slowly fade away? The question is clear, the answers less so. My bet is that we will find a way. But the devil is in the details. Practically speaking, what is our vision and our plan? That is the topic for this issue’s Forum. How Buddhist Communities Can Help Their Aging Members INTRODUCTION BY LEWIS RICHMOND