Guest editor Kevin Griffin muses on times when the longing for enlightenment is mostly the desire to stop being depressed.
“Most people don’t have any idea what they’re feeling,” suggests Dharma teacher and therapist Robert Hall. In this interview, he takes us on a Gestalt trip to Mexico, with a stop in India for instructions from the Buddha.
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi inspires us with sutta tales of rapid attainment when the void opens.
Barbara Gates answers an old friend’s critique to stop writing memoir with—what else?—more memoir.
Zen teacher Zenju Earthlyn Manuel teaches us to release terror moment by moment, contacting an inner unencumbered being that is always present despite suffering.
David Smith, a Dharma punk living in Nashville, was angry. Mindfulness practice showed him why; lovingkindness practice helped him change.
Zen priest Alan Senauke describes his struggle with depression. He wonders whether Shakyamuni Buddha arrived at a place where he was always happy, never anxious.
Ajahn Amaro offers advice on working with the body as an antidote to anxiety and other forms of suffering.
Stephanie Tate was abused, raped and became addicted to drugs. It took years of mindfulness and compassion practice, then volunteering as a hospice chaplain, to get to the other side.
While one veteran warned, “I’d rather you hit me with a crutch than my having to spend five minutes alone with my thoughts,” James Hallenbeck and Leah Weiss piloted two richly successful compassion trainings at the VA Palo Alto.
Interview with Sylvia Boorstein: Medicine for the Brain, Dharma for the Mind
By Barbara Gates, Kevin Griffin
Spirit Rock teacher Sylvia Boorstein says that in the case of some meditation students, antidepressants allow them to move beyond the personal to shared, universal insights.
Neuroscientist David E. Presti and psychoanalyst Kristi Panik explain the history and workings of antidepressants. Some of what they say may surprise you.
Buddhist scholar B. Alan Wallace questions whether psychopharmacology is a way to end suffering, which he reminds us is rooted in the underlying mental afflictions of craving, hostility and delusion.
A list of resources annotated and compiled by Margaret Cullen.
Patrick McMahon reflects on how, “as more antihero than hero, telling a tale more anticlimactic than climactic,” Matthiessen introduced a new kind of Buddhist icon.
Open Heart, Open Mind: Awakening the Power of Essence Love, by Tsoknyi Rinpoche (with Eric Swanson)
Reviewed By Walt Opie
(257 pp., Harmony Books, 2012)
Emotional Chaos to Clarity: How to Live More Skillfully, Make Better Decisions, and Find Purpose in Life, by Phillip Moffitt
Reviewed By Wes Nisker
(279 pp., Hudson Street Press, 2012)
Not Quite Nirvana: A Skeptic’s Journey to Mindfulness, by Rachel Neumann
Reviewed By Diana K. McLean
(128 pp., Parallax Press, 2012)
Since the Buddha’s time, the Dhamma has been freely offered. One way this sharing manifests is through free-distribution Dhamma books, which are made available around the world without charge.
A list of resources compiled by Matthew Grad.
Short reviews of The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah; Meditation: A Way of Awakening by Ajahn Sucitto; and Thanassaro Bhikkhu’s The Truth of Rebirth (and Why It Matters for Buddhist Practice) and Selves and Not-Self.
Kevin Griffin says the Four Foundations of Mindfulness can be therapeutic. He urges us to “breathe into” the tender spots in the body where sadness rests.
Musing on life and aging, Wes Nisker invites us to take the whole of creation into our hearts, warts and all.