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Lions Roar : November 2015
spiritual practice in a residential context. Maitri Hospice, as this effort became known, attracted broad attention, volunteers, equipment, and municipal funds. Author and Zen teacher Peter Matthiessen called it one of the country’s first instances of Engaged Buddhism. By the time Issan died in 1990—of AIDS, in the hospice he’d founded—he was a widely renowned, highly praised, and much-beloved Zen teacher. He was also a proudly gay man who had worked through all of what made him who he was— which included an extreme and sometimes shocking history of drugs, drink, thievery, prostitution, jail, and a low-level show- business life. From these raw materials, he forged a brilliant and inspiring spiritual path. He’d seen so much and done so much, you couldn’t really shock him. Bring him the worst problem— he understood it. He’d had it! His very being was somehow always gently communicating, “If I can do this, you can too.” ♦ DAVID SCHNEIDER is the author of Street Zen, a biography of Issan Dorsey. His new book is Crowded by Beauty, a biography of Beat poet Philip Whalen. Rainbow Dharma: Resources On-line and in-person resources to help you explore sexuality and gender through the lens of Buddhism and meditation. Dharma Alliance LGBTQ Sitting Group: A Los Angeles Vipassana meditation and discussion gathering hosted by InsightLA. www.insightla.org/521/dharma-alliance- lgbtq-sitting-group San Francisco Zen Center’s LGBTIQ Queer Dharma group: Open to all, newcomers are welcome. Meets once a month at SFZC’s City Center. Queer Dharma at Shambhala NYC: “A n open community of meditation practitioners led by and for LGBTQIA people.” (Similar groups in Portland, Chicago, Boulder, and elsewhere.) ny.shambhala.org/queer-dharma/ East Bay Meditation Center’s “Alphabet Sangha” page: Includes a list of welcoming sanghas in the East Bay, San Francisco, and Santa Rosa, as well as recommended audio and text teachings. www.eastbaymeditation. org/alphabet/bayareasanghas.html Gay Buddhist Fellowship: “Brings together the diverse Buddhist traditions to address the spiritual concerns of Gay men in the San Francisco Bay Area, the United States, and the world.” gaybuddhist.org/v3-wp/ Shambhala LGBTQ Network: Resources and teachings by Pema Chödrön, Sakyong Mipham, and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. shambhalalgbtqnetwork.blogspot.ca/ TransBuddhists.org: Features a download of “Developing Trans*Competence: A Guide for Meditation and Retreat Centers.” ♦ ISSAN DORSEY founded Maitri Hospice in San Francisco, using a Zen approach to care for people dying of HIV/AIDS. He died there in 1990. PHOTOBYMORGANALEXANDER/WWW.AIDSAFFECTUSALL.COMANDWWW.HAVANASTREETART.COM SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2015 45