using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : January 2019
but many made her uncomfortable. They were too hierarchical, too sober, too restricted. “I think you could say I’m a little rebel- lious and suspicious of authority. I matured in the sixties, so I was involved in the free speech movement, the anti–Vietnam War movement, all of that. And in various Buddhist communi- ties you had the people in power and the people not in power.” When her son was old enough in the early 1980s, O’Hara began to practice at Zen Mountain Monastery in Upstate New York with the American Zen teacher John Daido Loori, Roshi. But the challenge of heirarchy remained. “No matter where you practice, in Zen there is a quality of authority,” she notes. “It’s not like the aesthetic in the commercial world of ‘That’s so Zen’ and you get yourself a Zen lamp and a Zen this and a Zen that. There is the capability of Zen to be really harsh, or to sound harsh. So, my struggle was always, ‘How can I allow myself to be humble and open and still honor my own feel- ing that that level of authoritarianism is unhealthy?’” One factor that helped was Daido Loori’s view of women. “As an American teacher, he didn’t have any issue of men ver- sus women, and whenever the gender was vague in a koan, he encouraged us to switch it to female.” O’Hara says that although she is sensitive to the challenges Buddhist women have faced, and continue to, she has been lucky in her own journey with Buddhism. “Right off, Loori began talking about my starting to teach. My attitude was, ‘No, I’m just here to face the wall and meditate, thank you.’ But he was very encouraging.” When she next began to study with Taizan Maezumi Roshi, who brought together the Soto and Rinzai traditions, O’Hara says she knew she had found her true teacher. “The whole femi- nist movement was going on at the same time Buddhism was coming to the West. Maezumi Roshi came to this country as a young man and fell in love with the freedom and thirst for the dharma here. He was very open to the new traditions, and he empowered a lot of women. Studying with him was like study- ing with a woman. It was very peculiar. He was this wonderful feminine energy and we would sit in this darkened dokusan room and cry together [laughs] .” When Maezumi Roshi died, O’Hara received dharma trans- mission from Roshi Bernie Glassman, one of Maezumi’s leading students. Glassman’s focus on social engagement and peace- making came to underlie much of her vision of Zen practice. “It was always Zen for me. I have sat in other Buddhist com- munities, because I love them and I appreciate all traditions. But my heart’s always been with Zen.” AS O’HARA WAS PURSUING her spiritual path, she taught media studies for twenty years at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her approach to information technology and the way we consume media mirrored the paradigm-shifting character of Zen. “When we practice something like Zen, our minds change in the way we apprehend material, and the way we apprehend information changes with the forms that we use,” says O’Hara. “Someone who meditates lying down listening to music has a PHOTOSCOURTESYOFROSHIO’HARA O’Hara felt lucky to have teachers who didn’t discriminate against her as a woman and encouraged her to teach. (L) Taizan Maezumi Roshi at her ordination. (R) Roshi Bernie Glassman, who inspired O’Hara’s passion for social justice. LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2019 44