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Buddhadharma : Winter 2008
mahasangha news 87 winter 2 00 8 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly to whom the text was dedicated. Demonstrating its commitment to greater diversity, the insight Meditation Society recently appointed three new board mem- bers who are people of color— Rosemary Blake, Allyson Pimen- tel, and DaRa Williams—and bring expertise in the areas of administration, clinical psychol- ogy, and finance, as well as medi- tation experience. This summer, IMS also held its sixth annual People of Color Retreat (group photo above). Pimentel, one of IMS’s new board members and an annual POC retreat participant, observed, “There is something symbolically powerful about being in IMS’s large meditation hall, knowing that on the surrounding cushions are other people of color all engaged in the same quest for freedom.” Longtime Buddhist Meredith Monk (below, in center surrounded by her vocal ensemble) recently released a new CD titled Impermanence, based on her acclaimed 90-minute interdisci- plinary work that toured the U.S. in 2006. The Washington Post’s Stephen Brookes called Imperma nence “a beautiful and deeply per- sonal work on the themes of death, leave-taking, and the fragil- ity of human life.” Monk says she rewrote much of the music for her vocal ensemble’s CD, so that “you get the same kind of richness you would experience when seeing us on stage.” Buddhist composer Peter lieberson was the featured composer at Columbia Universi- ty’s Miller Theatre on September 27. The retrospective of his works was performed by the Garuda Ensemble, conducted by Jeffrey Milarsky. The program notes extol Lieberson’s “predilection for color, clarity, and precision [that] is suf- fused with an inner warmth, invoking his longtime involve- ment in Tibetan Buddhism.” The Buddhist Peace fellow ship (BPF) is moving its adminis- trative office to Oakland from Berkeley. As well, Minal Hajrat- wala (above) just finished her stint as interim senior editor of Turning Wheel, the BPF’s bimonthly jour- nal, polishing off its special 30th- anniversary issue. She will be busy for the next while promoting her new memoir, Leaving India: My Family’s Journey from Five Vil lages to Five Continents, which will be released by Houghton Mif- flin in March. In July, the aspen institute hosted the Dalai Lama at a three-day public sym- posium on Tibetan and Himala- yan art, culture, science, spiritual practice, and history. The high- light of the program was a far- ranging conversation with His Holiness conducted by writer Pico Iyer and Aspen Institute president Walter Isaacson. Their discussion touched on the relationship between Tibet and China, medita- tion’s effects on the brain, science and faith, the legacy of the institu- tion of the Dalai Lama, and what Tibetan Buddhism can both offer and learn from the world. Co- hosted by the Conservancy for Tibetan Art and Culture of Wash- ington, D.C., the conference brought together Western and Tibetan scholars, historians, sup- porters, and practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. “Anywhere and everywhere you turned for these three days,” said Buddha dharma publisher James Gimian, who attended the conference, “you were talking to someone who was doing amazing work. The conversations that took place there will give rise to ongoing con- versations that will benefit the dharma in the future.” The Aspen Institute is also hosting the first U.S. summit of the global Peace initiative of Women from November 6 to 10. Organizers Dena Merriam and Marianne Marstrand are planning a dia- logue between 40 to 50 spiritual leaders and longtime contempla- tive practitioners to take place on the first two days of the summit. The subsequent weekend is open to all who wish to join a discus- sion on how “best to create a shift in awareness in America and around the world, to create a more peaceful and life-sustaining world community.” The Mae zumi institute, the major study and practice center of the Zen Peacemakers Order founded by Roshi Bernie Glassman in Mon- tague, Massachusetts, offered a weekend retreat for young Bud- dhists on Labor Day. The faculty was a who’s who of the new gen- eration taking up the dharma torch, including Ethan Nichtern, Brad Warner, Ian Koebner, Kate Bornstein, and Paul Genki Kahn. The Upaya Buddhist chap laincy training program, a pro- gram of the Zen Peacemaker order, is accepting applications for its second yearlong program, which begins in March 2009. Open to those who wish to ©STEPhanIEBERGER/EcMREcoRDS ➤ JohnhoLLanD©BoBhSIanGPhoToGRaPhy