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Lions Roar : March 2019
F OR LION’S ROAR’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY, we’re looking ahead, not back. Throughout the year, we’re exploring Buddhism’s next 40 years. How can it meet the challenges of the future? How should it evolve and reform? How will it most benefit people’s lives, our society, and the future of humanity? We’re bringing together some of the most vital voices in Buddhism to answer these questions. In this issue, we ask leading Buddhist teachers (and one astute observer of spiritual America) what they feel is the most helpful message or teaching Buddhism can offer in coming decades. In future issues, we’ll be addressing other important topics such as diversity, reform, deep practice and study, activism, and community in a digital age. As people who benefit from Buddhist practice, we have a common project: to benefit people’s lives, society, and the future of the earth. This is in fact the common project of all humanity. To it we offer the brilliance of the teachings, the power of the techniques, and whatever wisdom is in our minds and love in our hearts. To be of benefit is the basic Buddhist vow. It is the basic human vow. Let’s talk about how to fulfill it with skill and foresight. —ME LVIN MCLEOD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF CELEBRATING YEARS Let’s Just Call It Love “It’s uncertain, isn’t it?” —AJAHN CHAH DEAR FRIENDS, the important question is not the future of Buddhism and its mes- sage. What’s important is the widespread realization of wisdom and compassion. It is clear that no amount of outer technological development—supercom- puters, enhanced genetics, nanotechnol- ogy, biotechnology, space technology, and the rest—will end warfare, racism, environmental destruction, tribalism, and global injustice. The US is the world’s largest producer and exporter of weapons, yet we do not feel safe. We have grain elevators full of food, yet millions of children around the world are hungry. Our heart feels their plight and whispers to us: What can we do? The reality is that we have enough food. What we do not have is enough love. The source of these sufferings is in the human heart. We know this truth as surely as we know our own name. Our wonderful outer development must now be matched by inner development. This is the great task of our time. The principle that creates a wise society and a wise life is simple and uni- versal: Actions based on greed, hatred, disrespect, and ignorance inevitably lead to suffering. Actions based on their opposites—generosity, love, respect, and wisdom—lead just as surely to happiness and well-being. This is the wisdom of the dharma. From the time of the Buddha, these teach- ings have pointed us to the reality of lib- eration. They offer the truths of suffering, its causes, and its end for every era. They help us awaken the great heart of virtue, compassion, wisdom, and generosity. They teach us interconnection with all life, pro- viding the very medicine we need for this beautiful and troubled globe. These are not just distant ideals. The good news is that these teachings offer powerful and transformative practices— direct ways for us to quiet the mind, open the heart, care for one another, and real- ize liberation. This is the enormous gift of the dharma to the modern world. Buddhism is the traditional vehicle for these practices and truths. Yet it is clear there won’t be a single Buddhism by Jack Kornfield LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2019 71