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Lions Roar : July 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN Market Place ARTS & CRAFTS/GIFTS BOOKS/TAPES/VIDEOS LIFELONG LEARNING & CAREER PRACTICE SUPPLIES SERVICES & SOCIAL ACTION TRAVEL THE MARKLAND cabot trail cape breton island NOVA SCOTIA where nature...happens fine food & accommodation near Gampo Abbey www.marklandresort.com 1-800-872-6084 Spirit of India Spiritual Journeys: India, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Mongolia Sri Lanka, Bali, Burma Sacred Rituals & Festivals Yoga Retreats & Intensives Cultural Immersion Custom Private Travel or Small Group Tours Groups average 6-10 people. 888-367-6147 www.spirit-of-india.com email@example.com SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2006 93 Glassman’s wife, Eve Marko, thinks for a while before she addresses the question about whether, in her opinion, Glassman has made any progress working with his male conditioning. At first she says, “Well, he’s older now, so he’s mellowed.” But af- ter thinking about it for a while she comes back with a fuller answer: “Dogen says that our practice is a spiral,” she says. “We don’t stay in the same place. But, at the same time, the practice is endless. I think that can be said for Bernie. Ten years ago he worked on partnership issues in one way. Ten years later his spiral has widened—that is, more issues, more voices, greater levels of understanding. And he’s still practicing. He and I haven’t stayed in the same place, and at the same time, there’s no end.” Joan Halifax doesn’t want to analyze Glassman’s difficulty with partnership: “He’s a very, very insightful visionary,” she says, “and he’s very groundless in the way that he works, which threatens people who are not secure. And I think he’s an extreme- ly good friend to those of us who don’t have opinions about him that are neurotic.” GLASSMAN’S CIGAR is out again, and our coffee is cold. “It’s amazing to me how often you’ve actually put your visions into play,” I say to him. “You’ve accomplished a lot.” He breathes out hard and says, quietly, “Yeah. I think so.” He smiles. “What do I think about it?” he says. “It seems like, ‘Isn’t that enough? Shouldn’t you stop now?’ But things keep coming up.” He quotes a friend, then, defining retirement as “changing tires.” I expect him to laugh, but he doesn’t. Instead he seems a little sad. “So which is it,” I ask him, “do you want to stop, or do you want to keep going?” “I want to run into things that I don’t understand,” he says, “that I don’t grok— and then to bear witness to them. That’s what pulls me forward.” The truth is that what Roshi Bernie Glassman would really like to do is disap- pear into the streets for the rest of his life, a philosopher bum. But his is an endless path, and he has too much to do: so much to teach, so much to learn, all that chaos to create, and still, and always, so many hungry spirits to satisfy. ♦