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Lions Roar : May 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN MAy 2009 87 her perseverance and her yearning. She’s living the very kind of life she’s been de- voted to making visible to everyone. She was the girl who wondered why she had a high IQ and a great love of learning if she wasn’t going to be allowed to use them. She’s been the scholar who explains why she took up the challenges she did by say- ing, “Someone has to go out on a limb when something important has been ig- nored!” She’s the practitioner who believes the most significant thing she’s said about Buddhism and feminism is her “surpris- ing discovery that anger about one’s own perceived unjust situation is not helpful to anyone.” And so it’s particularly poignant to read that she didn’t set out to study an- drocentrism or gender prisons. She was first drawn to religious studies “as a quest for personal understanding of how life and the world work.” But there were, she soon discovered, these problems, and they had to be addressed before she could pur- sue her passions. She made a sacrifice, and because she did, several academic disci- plines and at least one major religion are changing. As a Zen teacher about half a generation younger than dr. Gross, I’m keenly aware of the debt of gratitude we owe her. And so it’s a joy to read that her lifelong spiritual quest seems to have been fulfilled. At the very end of the book, in “Being a North American Buddhist Wom- an,” she says: In sum, what is it about being a Buddhist that delights me so much? The profundity of its view, the trans- formative power of its spiritual disci- plines, and the results—real change, a transformation from unhappiness to contentment. And perhaps she’s heartened to think that some women have managed to ar- range things so we’re no longer in daily struggle with the difficulties she so elo- quently describes. In our lifetimes, it is possible to experience Buddhism after patriarchy. ♦ dzogchen thenatural greatperfection DZOGCHEN RETREATS WITH LAMASURYA DAS Dzogchen is the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Considered by manytobe"theteaching of our time," Dzogchen is direct, immediate,essentialized, adaptable,and profound: a pure awareness practice applicable to any circumstance and readily integrated into modern life. Dzogchen, often translated as the Natural GreatPerfection, dire ctly introduces us to our inner Buddha, the inherent freedom, purity and perfection of being that is ourtrue nature. Dzogchen Center Meditation Retreats areheld across the country, throughout the year as shown below: DZOGCHEN MEDITAT IONRETREATS Garrison, NY Summer July 24 – August 2, 2009 Garrison, NY Winter January2– January 10, 2010 Joshua Tr ee,CA Spring March 20 –March 28, 2010 MULTIPLE TEACHINGS DAILY•NOBLE SILENCE • BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDINGS VEGETARIAN MEALS•PRIVAT E, SEMI-PRIVAT E, AND DORM ROOMS AVAILABLE For complete information and secure on-line registration for all of these scheduled events, go to www.dzogchen.org/retreats,e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 617-628 -1702. LAMA SURYADAS is the author of Wo rdsofWisdom (Koa Books, 2008) as well as TheBig Questions (Rodale, 2007) and Buddha Is As Buddha Does (Harper San Francisco, 2007). He is also theauthor of a number of other books including Letting Go of the Person Yo uUsedToBe and the Awakening Trilogy which includes the classic Awakening theBuddha Within (Broadway). Lama SuryaisaLineage holder of TibetanBuddhism in theRime (non-sectarian) tradition.For over thirty years, including morethaneight yearsinsecluded retreat,hehas studied with the great masters of Tibetan Buddhism. With his open and livelystyle,heis particularly effectiveinthe transmissionofBuddhism in viable Westernforms by presenting Buddhist ethicsand insight, as well as methods of practice,inamanneraccessible to all. DZOGCHEN CENTER BUDDHISM FOR THE WEST