using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Winter 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly winter 2 0 09 50 Toughing It Out How Practice Centers Are Dealing With the Recession forum • susan o’connell • jon barbieri • bob agoglia • evan kavanagh • When the Buddha first taught the dharma on the plains of the Ganges in India several millennia ago, he gathered mendicant followers who prac- ticed retreat during the rainy season. In the dry season, they solicited alms to support their retreat. They saved for a rainy day, you might say. As Buddhism developed, royal and aris- tocratic patrons supported the development of large monastic institutions throughout the many Asian countries it travelled to, while laypeople continued to support monks and priests, sometimes in return for rituals and blessings. When Buddhism came to the West, largely in the last half of the twentieth century, the pattern shifted. Instead of ordaining large numbers of monks and nuns and starting monasteries— a practice for which there was little cultural precedent in the United States—Asian teachers and their students established residential retreat centers where students could leave their lives in the cities for periods of intensive practice paid for by program fees and donations. The laypeople who form the majority of Western Buddhists immersed themselves in inten- sive practice at the Insight Meditation Society, Zen Mountain Monastery, Dai Bosatsu Zendo, Karmê Chöling, Spirit Rock, Mount Baldy, Shambhala Mountain Center, Tassajara, and Green Gulch, among others. The practice centers, many of them more than thirty years old, are the jewels in the crown of Western Buddhism (along with a number of small and vibrant monasteries that serve fully ordained practitioners and lay visitors). Operating these retreats and refuges has been a challenge from the start. introduction by barry boyce brianspielmann As Sharon Salzberg has said of the founding of IMS, “None of us even knew what a mortgage was.” In the intervening years, the dharma students who have led these centers have learned the hard way about mortgages, insurance, workers compensa- tion, fund-raising, endowments, recruitment, plumbing and heating, permits, capital costs, and a myriad of other details involved in running organizations that serve many thousands of part-time residents annually. When the financial meltdown now called “the Great Reces- sion” hit, we heard these centers were having difficulties. They have built capacity to serve a certain number of practitioners each year, many of whom found it difficult to pay the full price, or even attend at all. Also, like the Buddhist institutions of old, the centers rely on patrons, many of whom lost a lot of money last year. We decided to host a discussion among top administrators at four of the largest centers—Insight Medi- tation Society, Shambhala Mountain Center, San Francisco Zen Center, and Spirit Rock Meditation Center—to find out firsthand how they were doing, and what they were planning and thinking about in the face of the same difficulties we’ve all been facing. What struck me as I listened to these leaders talk among themselves was how energetic and upbeat they remain, even as they talk about working much harder to survive in a tough climate and putting off cherished plans to supply better and more accommodations to practitioners. It’s impressive. The Buddha’s legacy survives. We’re still learning to make the best of a rainy day.