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Lions Roar : May 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2008 17 Did God invent religion or did religion invent God? bit I return to this present moment, hear the doves out in the yard, peek out at the beautiful Hawaiian sunshine, and let grat- itude wash over me. I am grateful for all the advertisers that make the Shambhala Sun possible, grateful that the American Buddhist movement is thriving, grateful that all the energy generated by those re- treats is changing the world. Grateful. Margaret Mann Honolulu, Hawaii TAKING OFF THE BLINDERS Thank you for publishing Frances Moore Lappé’s essay “Natural Abundance” (Janu- ary, 2008). I was particularly interested in her insights about traditional education: how disciplinary blinders can stand in the way of discovery and understanding; how academic experts often fail to make the most fundamental, essential connections; how invaluable beginner’s mind can be as a way to approach any problem; and how we all need to “consciously surface our frames, and ask ourselves what is useful and what isn’t.” As a college educator my- self, I intend to quote generously from her essay in the classroom and will be press- ing it on my students. Lise Weil Montreal, Quebec IN PRAISE OF POETRY Among the excellent articles in the March issue of the Shambhala Sun, I was glad to find a poem by Elizabeth Bishop (a su- perb poet) embedded in Ruth L. Ozeki’s illuminating article, “The Art of Losing.” Further delight and stimulation awaited me on the last page of the magazine, with Denise Levertov’s “Candles in Babylon” and Sam Hamill’s brief and poignant exposition. I am glad to see your openness to the art of poetry (Diane Ackerman’s and Norman Fischer’s pieces are also duly noted), and to creative writing and the arts in general. Thank you for the illuminating work. Gary Corseri Bethesda, Maryland LOVE YOURSELF FIRST When I saw the heading of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s essay “The Real Se- cret” (November, 2007), it pushed a but- ton for me again. When I read that “put- ting others first” is the way, I was remind- ed how women have put others first for centuries. Where did it get them? Some of the Buddhist teaching I see has a macho tendency to skip the lessons that women have to offer to balance out the Buddhist teachings. I am so deeply grateful to Pema Chödrön for playing that role. It is not healthy to put someone else first before you have done the inner work and healed and transformed enough to be able to do that spontaneously and on a consistent basis. Loving and accepting oneself first is a necessary ingredient be- fore one can “put others first.” Let’s not put salt over old wounds. Let’s remember that we are all still healing from these wounds, and the Buddhist teachings ought not to perpetuate old ineffective patterns. Lamees Mansur San Diego, California FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SEARCHING I never read a magazine cover to cover, but everything in your January, 2008, is- sue had something for me, something I could use. Your magazine has begun to strike a nerve, and it’s not necessarily a Buddhist nerve. It’s a nerve centered on people’s need for something else, their need for a spirituality that doesn’t have rules and regulations and allows them to carve their own path in this crazy world. The Shambhala Sun is becoming a journal for folks who are searching, and who know the search is more instructive and more fun than the so-called destination. Kurt Aschermann Falls Church, Virginia ♦ Put Others First? Put Others First? MAY 1-17.indd 17 MAY 1-17.indd 17 3/6/08 11:11:04 AM 3/6/08 11:11:04 AM