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Buddhadharma : Winter 2005
winter 2005| 90 |buddhadharma are proudly celebrating their daughter miranda JUly’s fea- ture film debut. Me and You and Everyone We Know premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Jan- uary 2005, winning the Original- ity of Vision award. At the Cannes Film Festival in May it won four awards, including Best First Film. July has a varied artistic back- ground that includes performance and installation art, and has pre- viously produced several short films. On her leap to the big screen, July says, “The part of me that makes movies is thinking big and wants to be in conversation with the whole world.” ■ Zen moUn- tain monaStery in Mt. Trem- per, New York, celebrated the 25th anniversary of ZMM and the Mountains and Rivers Order in July. Over 160 people from all parts of the country came for the celebration. John Daido Loori, Roshi, founded both the MRO and its main center, ZMM, in 1980. Since then, branches of the MRO have been established throughout North America and abroad. Senior monastic Ryushin Marchaj called the celebration “a playful moment in a rigorous schedule” at ZMM. The celebra- tion included monastics singing a musical version of the koan “Dragon Singing in a Withered Tree” (photo below) during the dinner, followed by an awards ceremony honoring three key members of the MRO: Eddie Mutai Pacheco, Carole Kyodo Walsh, and Robert Tokusho Senghas. ■ The Gay BUddhiSt fellowShip held their 14th annual fall retreat, this year entitled “You Are a Bud- dha,” from September 14 to 18 at the Vajrapani Institute in Santa Cruz, California. The retreat was led by Dr. Rodger Corless and Brother Ji-Sing. Corless is a pro- fessor emeritus of religion at Duke University and a leading scholar of interreligious dialogue. Brother Ji-Sing is the founder of the Q- Sangha at the Metropolitan Com- munity Church of San Francisco and the spiritual director of Inter- faith Buddhist Retreats. The retreat was open to members and friends of the Gay Buddhist Fel- lowship, Q-Sangha, Interfaith Buddhist Retreats, and other GLBT Buddhist groups. ■ The eaStern BUddhiSt leaGUe, a federation of Jodo Shinshu tem- ples east of the Rockies, held its annual convention in September at the Midwest Buddhist Temple in Chicago. The gathering gave the league’s members a chance to discuss the direction of the EBL and its temples. Keynote speakers included Dr. Nobuo Haneda of the Maida Center in Berkeley and Rev. Noriaki Ito of the Los Ange- les Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple. Rev. Patti Nakai, who chaired the two-day event, said the convention’s title, All That Jazz, pointed “to the ongoing dynamic process of conveying the Nem- butsu teachings in the modern world – a process like the music of jazz calling us to be innovative and resourceful, energetic yet deeply grounded.” ■ On August 20, celebrations were held in Toronto to mark 100 yearS of BUddhiSm in canada. Mon- shu Koshin Otani, the lord abbot of Jodo Shinshu in Japan, opened celebrations and the newly con- structed Toronto Buddhist Church and Living Dharma Center. In tara Slone takeS on Rock StaR: INXS By Jeff Pardy R ock Star: INXS, a reality TV series which recently aired on CBS, pitted vocalists from across North America, Europe, and Australia in a competition to become the new lead singer for the rock band INXS. Tara Slone, health and well-being coordinator for the Toronto Shambhala Center and former lead singer of the Canadian rock band Joydrop, was chosen as one of the show’s finalists. Slone, who is 32, was born in Montreal but grew up primarily in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her parents were students of Chögyam Trungpa and were among those who moved from Colorado to Nova Scotia at Trungpa Rinpoche’s request. “Growing up with Buddhist parents, it completely informs your mind,” says Slone, who decided to seriously commit herself to Buddhist practice when she was in her twenties. Slone did not attend the preliminary auditions for Rock Star: INXS. Instead, she was invited to attend the show’s final auditions in Los Angeles after one of her fans sent Joydrop’s CD’s and videos to INXS’s management. Her performance at the audition won her the right to compete as one of the show’s 15 finalists. Slone was the fifth person voted off the show, leaving in its fourth week. She remembers the experience as both “the most fertile practice situation I have ever been in” and “extremely intense.” “I was forced to work with things very directly,” says Slone. “Talk about klesha activity. I’ve never been on such a roller coaster in terms of battling self-doubt and insecurity.” Slone is currently putting the finishing touches on her first solo album, which she worked on with producer Jordon Zadorozny. She hopes to tour with her band once the album is released. “I’m going to keep doing what I think I’m best at,” says Slone, “which is being a musician.” taped and then transcribed. Cop- ies of the interviews are also being given to the participants’ families. Natanson is being aided by five volunteers, including three Tibetan monks. ■ The ShanG-ShUnG inStitUte of America, founded by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, has begun a new four-year program in Tibetan medicine under the direc- tion of Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo. Shang-Shung Institute is located in Conway, Massachusetts. The pro- gram is designed to closely paral- lel the traditional training of a Tibetan physician. The core pro- gram is based on the rGyud bzhi, a book of major teachings and clinical references used in Tibetan medical schools. Students will also be given the opportunity to travel to Tibet to see first-hand how Tibetan medicine is practiced. ■ Buddhist practitioners Richard Grossinger and Lindy Hough, founders of North Atlantic Books, in June at the “Spirit in Dying” conference in Berkeley, hosted by the ATP. ■ hillel natanSon has created a project called Kha- gyun: Stories from the Tibetan Diaspora to preserve the history of Tibetan refugees in southern India. Khagyun is a Tibetan word that means oral history. Natanson, who previously worked at Tibet House in New Delhi, says the aim of the project is to interview elderly Tibetans about their lives before the Chinese invasion of Tibet and about how their lives have changed since fleeing to India. The inter- views are audiotaped or video- HILLELNATANSoNV&AIMAGES/VICToRIA&ALBERTMuSEuMRACHAELRoMERoALEXNuNEZCouRTESyoFIFCFILMSToRoNToBuDDHISTCHuRCH