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Buddhadharma : Winter 2007
buddhadharma| 7 |winter 2007 melvin mcleod EDITOR-IN -CHIEF tynette deveaux EDITOR seth levinson ART DIRECTOR Barry campbell Boyce SENIOR EDITOR andrea mcquillin MAHASANgHA NEwS EDITOR andrea miller ASSOCIATE EDITOR scott armstrong EDITORIAl ASSISTANT board oF editorial adVisors ajahn amaro ABHAYAgIRI BUDDHIST MONASTERY Jeffrey cox SNOw lION PUBlICATIONS zoketsu norman Fischer EVERYDAY ZEN FOUNDATION, SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER roshi Bernie glassman ZEN PEACEMAKER ORDER Jack kornfield SPIRIT ROCK MEDITATION CENTER John daido loori, roshi ZEN MOUNTAIN MONASTERY timothy mcneill wISDOM PUBlICATIONS larry mermelstein NAlANDA TRANSlATION COMMITTEE reginald a. ray NAROPA UNIVERSITY Barbara rhodes KwAN UM SCHOOl OF ZEN sharon salzberg INSIgHT MEDITATION SOCIETY robert a.F. thurman COlUMBIA UNIVERSITY, TIBET HOUSE U.S. Peter turner SHAMBHAlA PUBlICATIONS taitetsu unno AMERICAN BUDDHIST STUDY CENTER michael Wenger SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER (Organizations listed for identification purposes only.) buddhadharMa: the praCtitioner’s Quarterly is a publication of the Shambhala Sun James m. gimian PUBlISHER molly de shong ASSOCIATE PUBlISHER, CIRCUlATION & ASSISTANT EDITOR eric l. ross ASSOCIATE PUBlISHER, ADVERTISINg alan Brush CIRCUlATION DIRECTOR Jessica von handorf PRODUCTION COORDINATOR debra ross DEVElOPMENT COORDINATOR adVertisinG inQuiries steve ritchie, account representative 1 (866) 604-8496, firstname.lastname@example.org Paul laybolt, account representative 1 (877) 786-1950, ext 31, email@example.com editorial & Central business oFFiCe 1660 Hollis St., Suite 701 Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada B3J 1V7 Tel.: (902) 422-8404; Fax: (902) 423-2701 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org u.s. subsCription oFFiCe 1345 Spruce St., Boulder, CO 80302-4886 suBscriBe at www.thebuddhadharma.com or call toll-free (877) 786-1950 mOving? Please notify us six weeks in advance of your address change. we cannot be responsible for issues that the post office does not forward. retailers: would you like to carry Buddhadharma ? Call (902) 422-8404, ext. 16. On occasion, we make our subscriber names and addresses available to carefully selected organizations we feel will be of interest to our readers. If you would prefer that your name and mailing address not be used in this way, contact us via one of the following: E-mail: subscriptions@the buddhadharma.com. Mail: PO Box 3377 Champlain, NY 12919-9817 or 1660 Hollis St. #701, Halifax, NS B3J 1V7 Canada. Fax: (902) 423-2701. Toll-free phone: (877) 786-1950. www.thebuddhadharma.com senD your letters By mail or to letters@theBuDDhaDharma.com I wanted to thank you for publishing Ken McLeod’s article on deity prac- tice. As someone who has repeatedly asked myself, “Why am I doing this practice?” in the hopes that I would snap into some higher level of under- standing by applying myself to the question, I found Ken’s article a major help. furthermore, I feel that Mr. McLeod’s ability to explain the practice in a way that makes sense to a Westerner is in the same league with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. I hope that I will be able to read more by such a fine author. Thanks very much for all your work in bringing this journal to all of us. I continually find the articles informative and engaging. Troy Jensen Bradford-on-Avon, England Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s “Challenge to Buddhists” struck a nerve. I have been a practicing Buddhist for years and have struggled throughout that time to find a way to translate my Buddhism to help other beings. I was raised as a Catholic, and my family looked to the church to give direction on how we should conduct ourselves, and that direction was freely given. I want to be able to look to ordained Buddhists and leaders in the Buddhist community for guid- ance, and I am not sure how to go about it or even if I have a right to ask. I hope this issue will continue to be explored in Buddhadharma. Diana Starr Daniels Fairhaven, Massachusetts I’m going to reject the Ven. Bhik- khu Bodhi’s challenge to participate in “tackling the causes of poverty and injustice” by standing up as “an advocate for justice in the world.” JAMESBURNETT He asked why Buddhism doesn’t have something like the American Jewish World Service’s program that expresses “Judaism’s commitment to social justice...” In Hebrew, this promotion of social justice is called tikkun olam, or “perfecting the world,” and Jews see it as their moral duty. I’m sure it is a well-intended endeavor. However, such programs can follow a slippery slope from compassionate action to political action, which puts unwanted pressure on people and governments and often meets violent resistance. Ken McLeod, in his article “Imag- ine You’re Enlightened,” warns us about unawake compassion: “per- sistent caretaking that can cross over into tyranny; a compulsion to res- cue or help that ignores appropriate boundaries; a pitying attitude that masks feelings of superiority; or a blind naiveté that fails to see what is helpful or harmful.” So, I reject the challenge to “roll up my sleeves and step into the field.” Will I be compassionate? Of course. Will I help those I see in need? As best as I can. Will I become involved in a program to repair the samsaric world? What samsaric world? Where is its inherent existence? No, I’ll continue to use dharma to awaken myself and hope that others see the usefulness of what I do. I pray that when they do, they’ll seek out the Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, who will then be so busy teaching dharma, he won’t have time to think about repairing the world. James McKinnon Dana Point, California I concur entirely with your “Chal- lenge to Buddhists,” and so did Mas- ter Cheng Yen of Taiwan forty years Buddhadharma the praCtitioner's Quarterly