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Lions Roar : January 2005
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2005 5 EDITORIAL • MELVIN MCLEOD Buddhism and More The Shambhala Sun is a constantly evolving enterprise, but I think it’s entered a period of particularly noticeable change. The magazine is becoming more diverse in writers published, topics treated and spiritual traditions represented. It’s part of our effort to make the Sun a better magazine—a more interesting read, more relevant to the issues that concern us all most, and a more fertile ground of exchange among people of shared values. But perhaps it’s also confusing, so I’d like to tell you about some of the principles that inform these changes, and look at how they are reflected in this issue. The Shambhala Sun is first and foremost a Buddhist magazine. Of that there is no doubt. It is produced by practicing Buddhists who are deeply committed to the value of Buddhist teachings and meditation. We want the Shambhala Sun to be a showcase for the best teaching, writing and thought to come out of the modern Buddhist world, such as Gretel Ehrlich’s marvellous story in this issue. And I think we’ll be hearing many exciting new Buddhist voices in issues to come. But Buddhists are also part of a larger spiritual world—the contemplative world—and it’s time for us all to start talking more. We share a common view of spiritual practice based on openness, questioning and personal experience of the sacred. We share a view of others based on compassion, not condemnation. The most important politics in the world today is religious politics. It is not a struggle between religions but a struggle within each religion. People who practice openness, compas- sion and inclusion—of every religion—need to share and support each other. Talking with other contemplatives, we gain in our own practice and strengthen our ties. In recent issues, we have profiled Elaine Pagels and interviewed the Sufi teacher Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. In this issue alone, we have Karen Armstrong, Pico Iyer writ- ing from a Catholic hermitage, and of course, the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. As a Buddhist, I feel enriched by what they have to offer and I feel a deep sense of com- munity with these practitioners of other faiths. The Shambhala Sun is not really about religion, which is after all only an expediency. It’s about spiritual values and human experience, which are also shared by people who don’t have a formal religious practice. In his introduction to the Shambhala teachings, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of this magazine, wrote, “The Shambhala teachings are founded on the premise that there is basic human wisdom that can help to solve the world’s problems. This wisdom does not belong to any one culture or religion... [It] has existed in many cul- tures at many times throughout history.” Every day we see this basic human kindness and wisdom all around us. They’re so com- mon we don’t even notice. And how often reading the “secular” press do I perceive the same values of compassion and goodness that drive this magazine. So we’ll also publish articles like Rick Bass’ in this issue, articles that reflect heart, sacredness and spiritual values, without ever using the words. And if there’s confusion because the same article could have been published in a “nonspiritual” magazine, that’s a hopeful confusion which speaks well of humanity. Finally, you may have noticed more discussion in the Sun of broad social and political questions, sometimes by people who are not speaking from an explicitly spiritual view- point. I believe that the major moral, psychological, political and social issues are spiritual questions, and that we have an obligation to address them. These are the kind of issues that, you could say, affect humanity’s spiritual health. The virtue of decent and serious public discourse addressed in this issue is an example. And so is the war in Iraq, and global warm- ing, and the growth of fundamentalism, and any other question on which the quality of our future hangs. Martin Luther King, Jr., says in “Letter from Birmingham Jail”: “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” No Buddhist could have said it any better. Let us open the Sun to such wisdom. SHAMBHALA SUN BUDDHISM CULTURE MEDITATION LIFE Melvin McLeod, Editor-in-Chief Barry Campbell Boyce, Senior Editor Andrea McQuillin, Managing Editor Jeff Pardy, Editorial Assistant Liza Matthews, Art Director & Associate Editor Seth Levinson, Assistant Art Director James M. Gimian, Publisher Molly De Shong, Associate Publisher, Circulation, & Assistant Editor Eric L. Ross, Associate Publisher, Advertising Alan Brush, Circulation Director Jessica von Handorf, Production Coordinator Paul Laybolt, Advertising Assistant Raymond Taavel, Fulfillment Manager Carol Millett, Circulation Coordinator Dan Carew, Customer Service Kenneth Swick, Bookkeeper Samuel Bercholz, Publishing Advisor Founder Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1940-1987) President Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Debra Ross, Advertising Sales Toll-free: 1-866-287-6633 Steve Ritchie, Advertising Sales Toll-free: 1-866-436-3233 EDITORIAL & CENTRAL BUSINESS OFFICE 1660 Hollis Street, Suite 603 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7 Canada Tel: (902) 422-8404, Fax: (902) 423-2701 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org U.S . SUBSCRIPTION OFFICE 1345 Spruce St., Boulder, CO 80302-4886 TO SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW, call toll-free (877) 786-1950. TO SEE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION STATUS, visit the customer service area of our website: www.shambhalasun.com/customers/subs.asp MOVING? Notify us six weeks in advance. We cannot be responsible for issues which the post office does not forward. On occasion, we make our subscriber names and addresses available to select organizations we feel will be of interest to our readers. If you would prefer that your name and mailing address not be used in this way contact us via one of the following: E-mail: email@example.com Mail: PO Box 3377 Champlain, NY 12919-9817 Fax: (902) 423-2701 Toll-free phone: 1-877 -786-1950 www.shambhalasun.com