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Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
9 summer 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly advice from Rinpoche and the other teachers to explore reasonable options for eliminating the abuse before choos- ing to end the relationship was compas- sionate and wise. Barbara Solarz Halifax, Nova Scotia Iam gravely concerned (I wept with frustration) at the responses given in the Ask the Teachers column to a woman in an abusive relationship. To tell a woman in an abusive relationship that the safest thing to do is leave, isn’t a habitual feminist or a militant femi- nist answer, as one teacher suggested. It is THE TRUTH. The answers that the first two teachers gave came close to condoning the continuation of abuse. To say “You may want to work with a trained...counselor” is naïve at best. The problem, whether it be physical, emo- tional, or even terrifying verbal abuse, isn’t simply “disappointment and old habits.” It is VIOLENCE, and there is no reason to keep oneself in a situation to be harmed. The second response was even more horrific. The teacher suggests she ask her- self in what ways she contributes to this difficult situation. You can be assured that this woman’s abuser is telling her daily that it’s all her fault. I can’t believe there was no editor here to say, hmmmm, I’m pretty sure most abusers lay the blame on the victim. Maybe it won’t help her to lay on a little more. His suggestion that “self-reflective work can open your view” could possibly result in physical damage to her and her children. “You may come to realize that some things he needs to express have nothing to do with you.” So she should take it? And then, the last answer gets it right. With gentleness and compassion, the dangerousness of her situation is acknowledged. Her safety is realized as the top priority. Wise action is advised. A true Buddhist response—while tell- ing the truth—is possible. I just hope it wasn’t too late. Lynn McKelvey Santa Fe, New Mexico ➤ NOW AVAILABLE, Three new Thich Nhat Hanh calligraphies including “Peace in oneself peace in the world.” All pieces in the gallery are archival quality giclée prints of dharma art. At the Shambhala Sun Online Gallery, you’ll find artwork by renowned artists such as Kaz Tanahashi, Barry Blitt, and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. NOW AVAILABLE, Three new Thich Nhat Hanh calligraphies including “Peace in oneself peace in the world.” All pieces in the gallery are archival quality giclée prints of dharma art. At the Shambhala Sun Online Gallery, you’ll find artwork by renowned artists such as Kaz Tanahashi, Barry Blitt, and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Bring Home the Dharma with art ƒrom the pages of the Shambhala Sun Expand your view with art that expresses the dharma. Available now from the Shambhala Sun Online Gallery www.shambhalasun.com VISIT THE SHAMBHALA SUN ONLINE GALLERY www.shambhalasun.com PROCEEDS ENABLE US TO PRINT ON ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE PAPER SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner ’s Quarterly.