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Lions Roar : March 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN MArcH 2009 13 Letters to the Editor the ShaMbhala Sun turnS thirty the whole thirtieth anniversary issue of the Shambhala Sun (January, 2009) was su- perb, and Barry Boyce’s article on the last thirty years of Buddhism in the west was the highlight. it provided a gentle mix of data and emotion and evaluation. it’s clear that Boyce has stayed on top of almost everything that’s occurred over the past thirty years. it was a very fun read. it did raise of couple of questions for me, though. despite the large volume of scholarship about Buddhism’s impact in the west, the quotes were all from popular sources. while scholarly writing can indeed be stiff and rigid, there is quite a lot of schol- arly writing on Buddhism that is not, and is helpful and informative for practitioners. on a related note, there was no mention of the phenomenon of “scholar-practitioners,” which has contributed to the growth of american Buddhism. of the more than two hundred “buddhologists” in north america, easily more than half are Buddhist practitioners, and it’s our academic courses that are building a kind of “Buddhist literacy” in the popula- tion among well-educated students and others. as a result, i think, many “convert” Buddhists are making really good, well-informed decisions about their new religious choice. charles s. prebish director, religious studies program utah state university logan, utah JuSt the FactS forgive me for indicating two errors in your article about the history of Buddhism in north america (and europe as well). first, the scandal about the vajra regent ösel tendzin surfaced in late 1988, not 1998. as a member of the vajradhatu sangha, i know this all too well. second, Bernardo Bertolucci’s film Little Buddha, with Keanu reeves in the title role and made with the help of dzongsar Khyentse rinpoche, appeared in 1993, not in 2003. i was a fa- ther of two little girls when we watched it together. as a third point, by way of en- riching, it is maybe worthwhile to note that in europe in 1993 the German director clemens Kuby saw the appearance of his film Living Buddha, a portrait of the young tulku proclaimed the seventeenth Karmapa. (the story of how that movie was shot over the course of several years is absolutely mind-boggling.) this movie was more important—at least for the dedicated crowd— than scorsese’s Kundun. Michael schaefer Merdingen, Germany neural buddhiSM Many thanks for your three-decade retrospective and for some of the predictions about Buddhism during its next thirty years. absent from the issue, howev- er, was any reference to the important influence of what david Brooks recently referred to in the New York Times as “neural Buddhism.” Because i am both a subscriber to the Shambhala Sun and a so-called neural Buddhist, i hope your editorial policies evolve soon, enabling your readers to discover how neuro- science research brings novel dimensions of under- standing to illuminate and revitalize outworn con- cepts about Buddhism. James h. austin, M.d. columbia, Missouri the blue poppy the January, 2009, issue is a real treasure, particu- larly Kathleen willis Morton’s short piece “the Blue poppy.” it made me so sad that her baby boy was born sick and died young and it gave me a broken kind of peace that, in the end, Morton was able to see his short life as a gift, as a chance to see what it means to be blessed with a rare human birth. every issue of the Shambhala Sun seems to have at least one good tearjerker and that piece is almost always everything that’s occurred over the past thirty years. riching, it is maybe worthwhile to note that in europe in 1993 the German director clemens Kuby saw the appearance of his film Buddha