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Buddhadharma : Summer 2006
summer 2006| 8 |buddhadharma been beautifully executed and much appreciated. Please consider returning to the previous format! Christine Webster Adirondack, N.Y. Charles Prebish’s article [Spring 2006] was most interesting in its exploration of a sociocultural aspect of Buddhism that rarely appears in Buddhist media. However, I was quite disgusted that all of the interview subjects were male. This constituted an egregious omission of the female (and African-American) Buddhist scholar-practitioner perspective and expe- rience in academia. It also makes me wonder if there is a higher percentage of female scholar-practitioners than the article would lead us to believe. Jean Weille New York, N.Y. The article by Charles Prebish in the Spring 2006 issue of Buddhadharma made me laugh. When I was a student at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, in the mid-1960’s, the Asian studies program there was paired with the one at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. There was much schol- arly exchange between the departments of those two schools. One day, the much-heralded Buddhist scholar Edward Conze visited UBC after a stopover at UW. The great man gave a talk, during which he made the pro- nouncement that if we students wanted to understand Buddhism, we needed to know Chinese, Sanskrit, and Greek. There was only one language require- ment imposed by the professor teaching the class on Mahayana Buddhism that I was enrolled in at UBC. We were to acquire dictionary-reading familiarity with any one of the languages of any of the writings in the Buddhist canon. One of the better students in the class man- aged to learn to read Pali on her own. Up until the encounter with the for- midable Conze, I had been struggling to learn enough Tibetan to look up words in Jaschke, but after meeting the great man, I sat in on classes in both Sanskrit and Chi- nese, trying to learn them simultaneously, by myself. I learned neither very well, and have scarcely retained whatever grasp of ➤ continued page 10 Tibetan I may have acquired back then. “Perseverance furthers,” however, as the I Ching says, and I like to think that my “long way around” toward the path of Buddhism may have been of benefit, despite (or perhaps even because of) the many obstacles, including my naive ini- tial response to Dr. Conze’s well-intended scholarly lecture. Ruth-Claire Weintraub Bisbee, Ariz. In the Spring 2006 issue of Buddha- dharma, Charles Prebish writes about the availability of graduate-level aca- demic training in Buddhist studies and states: “We might now add to that group the United States branch of Soka University.” Soka University of America (SUA) was pleased to be mentioned, but although SUA is founded upon the Buddhist prin- ciples of peace, human rights, and the sanctity of life, we do not offer academic training in Buddhist studies. We do offer an interdisciplinary liberal arts degree featuring a 9:1 student/faculty ratio and study abroad for all students, as well as a Masters program in Second and Foreign Language Education. Soka University of America is an inde- pendent, nonprofit organization incorpo- rated in California with its own board of trustees. SUA is not a branch of Soka University, Japan, although we certainly consider ourselves to be sister universi- ties, because we were both founded by Daisaku Ikeda. Wendy Harder Director, Community Relations Soka University Aliso Viejo, Calif. Unlike past issues of Buddhadharma that had a calming effect on my mind, I found the Winter 2005 issue irritating. I think it is because of the disconnect between the articles in Buddhadharma and the litera- ture that I receive from the International Campaign for Tibet begging for money to save Tibetan refugees who are freez- ing to death in Nepal because of the civil war there. There is zero media coverage of this humanitarian disaster, including in Buddhadharma. Genpo Merzel Roshi’s teachings facilitate a direct experience of Big Mind – the mind of clarity and wisdom, and Big Heart – the mind of compassion. Combining his 35 years of studying and teaching the wisdom of Zen with the insights of western psychology in the Big Mind process, he has enabled thousands of people to experience enlightenment in a way never before thought possible. Join him at Big Mind events at Kanzeon Zen Center in Salt Lake City and throughout the country. Visit www.bigmind.org for details on these appearances and for information about the Big Mind / Big Heart International Intensive October – November 2006 “As effective as anything I know at giving a person a direct glimpse of Big Mind. I recommend his workshops unconditionally.” — Ken Wilber Or experience it at home with the Big Mind DVD For more information visit www.bigmind.org and kzci.org or call 801-328-8414