The relationship between liberation and sanctification is the theme of this issue, and each of the articles we feature speaks to some aspect of that theme as it is experienced in a life of spiritual practice. But please don’t look for consensus, for it is not to be found. What you will find is a rich collection of diverse insights.
Norman Fischer, an abbot the San Francisco Zen Center, starts us off with reflections on a version of the Buddha’s renunciation story which is significantly different from that familiar to most contemporary students of Buddhism.
We continue with a forum in which five highly esteemed teachers—the venerable U Pandita Sayadaw, Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Ruth Denison and Joanna Macy—speak directly and often quite pointedly to our theme and the issues it raises.
Buddhist scholar Steven Goodman brings a wealth of insight and knowledge to an essay in which he, so to speak, takes the ball and runs, finding in the problem posed a means to open up and reveal essential wisdom for the practice of the Buddhadharma.
In their reflective essays, Patrick McMahon, Anita Barrows and Diana Winston stay close to the ground of their own experience, and in so doing they bring to the reader spiritual knowledge that is fresh and hard-won. In a series of beautiful explorations of our theme, Jane Hirshfield, Susan Griffin, Rick Fields, Stephan Bodian and Rachel Norton grace our poetry pages.
Andy Cooper is this issue’s guest editor.
On the front cover is a painting titled Bofu, Dr. Wolfram by Michael Dee Cookinham. He taught painting at Merritt College in Oakland, California, from 1999–2015.
For budgetary reasons, we are focusing on archiving Inquiring Mind’s original articles, interviews and poetry. For the most part, we are leaving out anything that was adapted or excerpted from a book or other publication.
“No Pizza in Nirvana” by Sharon Salzberg, excerpted from A Heart as Wide as the World: Living with Mindfulness, Wisdom, and Compassion (Shamhala Publications, Inc., 1997)
The poems “Three Times My Life Has Opened,” “Matter and Spirit” and “The Adamantine Perfection of Desire,” by Jane Hirshfield, appear in her book Lives of the Heart (Harper Collins, 1997)