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Buddhadharma : Winter 2015
52 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly winter 2015 nina la rosa teaches mindfulness-based psychotherapy and mindfulness at exquisite Mind in Burlington, vermont. she is a student of shinzen young. laMa roD oWens is a resident teacher with natural Dharma Fellowship in cambridge, Massachusetts. he is a graduate student in Buddhism at harvard Divinity school. Tenku ruFF, osho, is a soto zen priest who trained in Japan and Portland, oregon. she is a chaplain living in new york and holds a Master of Divinity from Maitripa college. (LeFT—rIgHT):ericacamille,patrickberkeley,rebeccabenoitoFpiXeleGacy,saritroGers don’t focus on our Buddhist lineages or teachers but on ourselves and our lives. I don’t really care what someone’s Buddhist tradition is. I care about who they are and why they’re at the conference. I feel confident that we’re heading in the direction of a wider, more inclusive conversation around what it means to practice. TENKu RuFF: There are twice as many people in the boomer generation as there are in Generation X, and the enormous force of optimism, energy, and will of the boomers did a lot to establish the dharma here in the West. I’m enormously grateful for that. As far as what’s next, I would say integra- tion. We need to focus more on community-based centers, moving from the dharma as something spe- cial and unique to the dharma as nothing special. Of course it has both sides, but we need to empha- size the ordinariness of it for people in their every- day lives. We need to ask more what people want and need from us and really listen to that. See what we have to learn. The main reason I did chaplaincy training when I came back to the U.S. was to find out what Americans want and expect from me as a teacher. Where is the suffering, and how can I be of most use? NINA LA ROSA: Our teachers delivered a version of Buddhism very much colored by Asian cultural origins. None of us here are Asian teachers in an Asian Buddhist community, though of course they are also part of the American Buddhist landscape; some of those teachers who are part of Gen X have also attended the conferences. If we’re talking sec- ond- or third- generation Asian Americans who are coming to learn the dharma with us, they’re more likely to share the Western cultural lens, which is often a more psychological approach to practice. As psychotherapy and familiarity with psychological concepts have gone mainstream, it’s more common Dave sMiTh is a teacher with against the stream and works as an addiction treatment specialist in refuge recovery. he teaches in los angeles and nashville.