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Buddhadharma : Winter 2015
Communists in Tibet and established our monastery in America. After I finished my training with him, he told me I would be able to reach many people that he couldn’t, and that I should rely on that quality. I think that’s the most important thing he’s ever told me. It really empowered my practice. He knows that I’m teaching about contemporary issues like race, sexuality, gender, and integrating social change back into dharma, and he’s supportive of that. TENKu RuFF: I received the dharma from a very tradi- tional teacher in Japan, and that training gave me a strong core of practice. But back here in the United States, I’m negotiating a very different training and teaching style. I have to bridge the difference between my seniors in Japan and my seniors in America as well as the generational difference, so it’s a compli- cated dance. I think the first generation of teachers in the West feels a great weight of responsibility for the dharma that they inherited, and maybe a sense of duty to keep things the way they got them, where our generation feels more freedom to share ideas with each other and integrate those ideas as needed. NINA LA ROSA: The teacher I’ve worked with the most is Shinzen Young. Perhaps uniquely among teachers of his generation, he has encouraged his students to practice in other dharma traditions, to discover the liberative qualities of different techniques and tradi- tions. He expects us to integrate those experiences into our own understanding of the dharma. I’m a psychotherapist, and that knowledge integrates into my practice and influences my teaching as well. I’d say this generation has greater access to a much wider variety of dharma interpretations than teach- ers in our lineages did previously. DAVE SMITH: All of my practice has been in the Theravada tradition, with IMS teachers. I was trained by Noah Levine and Vinny Ferraro in early Buddhist practices, specifically the teachings of the Pali canon. Although what I teach is very similar, how I teach has changed. I’ve been teaching dharma Tantric practices are powerful because they utilize all parts of our being—body, speech, and mind—in order to transform habitual patterns and clear away our fundamental ignorance. —Lama Palden Drolma We can support each other in being transparent and making sure that the next generation doesn’t make some of the same mistakes that were rooted in teachers being very isolated from one another. —Nina la Rosa photos | (oPPosITe) koshin paley ellison, (ABoVe) shundo david haye