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Buddhadharma : Fall 2010
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly FALL 2 0 10 10 Required,” in the Summer issue of Buddhadharma. Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s knowledge and dedication to the dharma is immense, and I have enjoyed and ben- efited from his teachings over the years. I understand that his position on dana comes from an interest in preserving the precious teachings from the Buddha that have been passed down through the centuries. From that perspective, I value his position. However, as the treasurer for a newly formed dharma center, I also see the reality of keeping the lights on, the rent paid, and the administra- tion smoothly functioning. All of these things cost money. In an urban dharma center, many people come and go. Some go on to be dedicated practitioners. Others are shopping for the spiritual practice that most resonates with them. In order to serve all the people who come through the center, we have found it necessary to have a suggested donation or fee for classes and retreats. Our experience of simply putting a basket out and hoping that people will contribute cannot sus- tain us as an organization. In the inter- est of bringing the dharma to as many people as possible, in the spirit of the realization of all beings, we feel that we have to adapt to this twenty-first-cen- tury Western culture we live in. We never turn anyone away for lack of funds. Our community is thriving, and we have had the privilege of being able to contribute to other just causes with the money we have accumulated. Our guiding teacher is able to live in one of the most expensive cities in the country. Without her full-time efforts, the center simply would not exist. Jane P. Davis Santa Monica, California Thank you so much for “When the Tornado Touches Down” in your Summer 2010 issue. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. As a practic- ing Buddhist, I feel guilty every time I respond to a situation with a knee-jerk reaction. A car cuts me off and I’ll col- orfully describe the driver’s ancestry. I have to make dinner for the family and do the dishes, and I’ll mutter under my breath about all the injustices in life. Their response being, “That’s not very Buddhist of you.” So I feel guilty and think, “I should be beyond that!” Until I read Shozan Jack Haubner’s article, I guess I’d looked at monks and nuns as role models. They spend their lives focused on their practice, so I assumed they have moved way beyond knee-jerk reactions and could see situa- tions for what they are, with calm equa- nimity. I was so relieved to read that they continue to struggle with the same knee-jerk reactions as I do. I suspect the moral of the story is that we are all Bud- dhists and we use our life experiences as our practice, warts and all. Observe and learn. With time we’ll sow more beneficial seeds than not. Don Purchase Ottawa, Ontario Iam grateful to the author of “When the Tornado Touches Down” for hav- ing spoken so openly about what many people experience in their retreats or in monasteries but dare not acknowledge. And I thank the author for having cho- sen not to write in the stern, somber lan- guage you often find in Zen articles, but instead in a witty style that makes it a real pleasure to read. Louise Mayer Berlin, Germany kimscAFuro SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION FOURTH ANNUAL ONLINE AUCTION OFFERING A SELECTION OF · original artworks · programs and events · retreats and vacations · books and audio · clothing and jewellry · gifts FEATURING OUTSTANDING ITEMS SUCH AS THIS BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI APPLIQUÉ THANGKA FROM NORBULINGKA INSTITUTE COMING MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2010 The Shambhala Sun Foundation gratefully thanks our auction partners for their generous donations. SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly.