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Lions Roar : July 2019
BUDDHISM: THE NEXT 40 YEARS B UDDHISTS FOCUS a lot these days on spreading the dharma. We as- pire to make Buddhist practices and teachings accessible and applicable in order to benefit as many people as possible. And rightly so. But there is another, less glamorous job that is as important as widening the reach of the dharma. It is deepening the practice and study of Buddhism. That is the subject of these five essays in our fortieth anniversary series looking at key issues for Buddhism’s next forty years. It is its profundity—the depth of its teachings and practices—that defines Buddhism. Without it, Buddhism is reduced to just another self-help system that, while helpful, only addresses the symptoms of samsara. It is deep practice and study that gives Buddhism its integrity and ensures its benefit in the future. No matter where we are on our spiritual path, we strive to deepen our own practice and understanding. That’s one contribution we can all make. Beyond that, Buddhism in the West needs a foundation of expert teach- ers, meditators, and students of the dharma, and so we need to support their long-term practice and study. That way, Buddhism will be like a great tree—its branches and leaves will spread glori- ously because its roots are deep. — MELVIN MCLEOD, Editor-in-Chief ILLUSTRATIONS BY SYDNEY SMITH LION’S ROAR | JULY 2019 66