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Lions Roar : July 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN jULy 2009 97 nated red page folded in three, with lists on it. “The idea was to present a simple Buddhist primer on something the size of a Chinese takeout menu,” he wrote in an accompanying note. Instead of a guide to putting together a dinner by choosing, say, the five spice tofu from column A and the egg drop soup from column B, this menu was called “The Five-Minute Buddhist.” It listed the five aggregates, the four noble truths, the eightfold path, the seven fac- tors of enlightenment, the four sublime states, the five hindrances, and the five precepts, ending with a quote from Thich Nhat hanh: “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the pres- ent moment, feeling fully alive.” The last time I saw Ramis, in Chicago in the fall, he was deep into editing Year One, and had grown a beard of, well, bibli- cal proportions. he said it was for movie publicity purposes. he was wearing mala beads around one wrist. “I tell people they’re from Neiman Marcus if they ask their religious mean- ing.” or, “I say I’m on the Buddha diet and they remind me not to eat too much, but they keep getting in the way of my steak, so I take them off when I eat.” At his suburban home, I meet his wife, Erica, whose father was director Daniel Mann. The family lived in Kyoto during filming The Teahouse of the August Moon, and her mother became fascinated with Buddhism. Back in los Angeles, after her parents split up, her mother moved into the International Buddhist Meditation Center, where the Vietnamese teacher Ven. Thich Thien-An was the spiritual leader. When Erica sensed her mother was go- ing through increasingly difficult times, she left Menlo College in Palo Alto, moved into the center, and lived there for four years. “It was a wonderful, bizarre time,” she said. “My mother ended up living there for more than thirty years, until the end of her life.” Erica went on to live and practice in a number of other Buddhist communities in New York, Rhode Island, and California. And, by the way, she’s not a Buddhist either. ♦ July arts month a one-month residential program where zen training and creative practice meet June 30 - July 26, 2009 mountainsandriversorderofzenbuddhism zen brush clay painting voice flowers john stevens meredith monk marcia wang shibata pat steir mn. jody hojin kimmel Zen Mountain Monastery mount tremper, new york John Daido Loori, Abbot Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, resident priest 845.688.2228 www.mro.org