Lion's Roar5 min letti
Pa’s Smile
THE FIRST AND ONLY TIME I bought dry ice, the grocery store clerk asked if I was going camping. “No,” I muttered, then managed to stop myself from saying it was for a body. The ice really was to lay my father’s corpse on. An air force colonel who was
Lion's Roar3 min letti
Tonglen | A Compassion Prayer that Rides the Breath
THE WORLD TODAY is in chaos, full of suffering, confusion, and greed. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and shut down, but closing our hearts isn’t helpful to anyone. We practice tonglen to touch into and strengthen our inherent capacity for compassion
Lion's Roar4 min letti
Realer Than Real: The Cosmic Vision Of The Mahayana
THE MAHAYANA VISION can be ornate. Worlds upon worlds appear, each with bejeweled pagodas, within each pagoda a buddha (often the same buddha appearing simultaneously in each pagoda in each world), flowers raining down, delicate scents, beautiful sou
Lion's Roar2 min letti
More than anything, I believe the world is in need of a spiritual perspective. Currently we are experiencing suffering in multiple forms. There is a health crisis, an economic crisis, and there is a moral crisis. The pandemic has not only sickened mi
Lion's Roar2 min letti
QUESTION: My work and family responsibilities are demanding these days, and it’s not an option to drop any of them. I’m not able to do anything as well as I’d like to and I feel stressed, exhausted, and frustrated. How can I survive this? FURYU NANCY
Lion's Roar3 min letti
Green Tara | Feel Her Wisdom and Love
TAR A IS THE MOST BE LOVED of all the female enlightened beings in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon. The essence of awakened love and compassion, she is known as “the mother of all the buddhas” and “she who ferries beings across the ocean of samsara.” A
Lion's Roar2 min letti
Gina Sharpe
I WAS BORN IN 1946 in Jamaica. My mother divorced my violent dad when I was five then immigrated to New York. In Mom’s absence, my sisters and I were under the care of a woman who mistreated and starved us. We hid the cruelty from Mom, as we knew she
Lion's Roar2 min letti
I Thought I Knew How to Fix the World
“This is the way to fix the world.” In my early twenties, that was my attitude. I was organizing with a group that had a clear analysis of how society works and how to fix it. Everywhere I went I clung to our worldview. It was the only correct way to
Lion's Roar1 min letti
More Love
Lion's Roar2 min letti
Darkness Is Asking To Be Loved
By now we have lost the tiny sense of peace we created for ourselves. Our composure is an idea long gone, reflected in the grinding of our teeth and locked jaws. If you are still holding up trying to meditate, I invite you to fall down. Fall down on
Lion's Roar3 min letti
How Not to Lose Heart
THINGS IN THE WORLD look so bad these days that it’s hard not to feel like you’re losing heart. Faced with all the suffering, injustice, and bad news, you may find that your mind is falling into periods of what the Buddha called “unwholesome states”—
Lion's Roar3 min letti
An Economy Based on Caring
Where I live these days—in Muir Beach, California, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic—every evening at 8 p.m. people in the neighborhood start to howl like coyotes. They do this for about five minutes. It’s a local ritual to express our appreciati
Lion's Roar2 min letti
My Sourdough Starter
I LOVE A HOMEMADE loaf of cut-the-roof-of-your-mouth bread. But I don’t bake. To become good at something, you have to tap into your intuition and play like a child. I know how to do this in parenting, writing, teaching, gardening, music, and cooking
Lion's Roar2 min letti
Put Out the Fires
The world is burning, the Buddha said, with the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion. This is a medical diagnosis as much as a spiritual one. It describes the pain we suffer and its root cause in our own hearts. We are taught to blame either material
Lion's Roar3 min lettiSociety
The Fifth Sight: The Heart of Social Justice
IN THE FAMED STORY of the four sights, Siddhartha Gautama discovers the truth of suffering when he leaves his family palace and sees an old man, a sick man, and a dead man for the first time. When I teach this story to my undergraduate students, they
Lion's Roar2 min letti
Find The Wisdom In Paradox
Sit with the paradox—this fundamental teaching from my Rinzai Zen training guides me in these coronavirus times. In our Zen tradition, students are asked to work with paradoxical stories, dialogues, or questions called koans. As an example, here is a
Lion's Roar2 min letti
Love Trumps Hate
IN THIS DARK AGE, what most fills my heart is U.S. President Donald Trump. Please don’t think me hateful or insane. Like everyone, lately, I’ve been absorbing more TV and online news than usual. Like everyone, I have to take breaks, and these breaks
Lion's Roar2 min letti
Wisdom x Compassion = Freedom
In order to benefit people’s lives and society effectively, it is vital to present the wisdom of Buddhism in ways that are skillfully tailored for this time and place and society. The Sanskrit term upaya is usually translated as “skillful means,” but
Lion's Roar2 min letti
Angel’s Epiphany
WHEN OUR SESSION BEGINS, even through our computer screens I can see Angel’s excitement. She’s grinning, anxious to get through the therapeutic preliminaries. “I’ve had an epiphany!” she announces. The religious cast of the word gives me pause. A mon
Lion's Roar2 min letti
Mothers’ Love
As a mother, my heart was ripped open when I heard that George Floyd was calling for his mama as he lay begging to breathe, dying in the street. His mama couldn’t come running—she had died two years before. So mamas of all races and ethnicities, mama
Lion's Roar1 min letti
Lion's Roar US
MELVIN MCLEOD Editor-in-Chief ANDREA MILLER Deputy Editor MEGUMI YOSHIDA Art Director ANDREW GLENCROSS Deputy Art Director & Production Coordinator LIZA MATTHEWS Senior Designer ROD MEADE SPERRY Editorial Director LILLY GREENBLATT Digital Editor ROSS
Lion's Roar3 min letti
I See You, I Am Here: The Secret to Heartfelt Communication
TODAY WEARE MORE ISOLATED than ever, and even more aware of our longing for connection and community. Many of us are reflecting on how much we value our human connections and how little we do to cultivate them, to express appreciation for others, and
Lion's Roar2 min letti
What Do We Take Refuge In?
When I was twelve, I rediscovered my body. I slowly learned that while it did not always feel better immediately, spending time outside offered a deeper kind of wellbeing than playing video games. There was something trustworthy in movement, the wood
Lion's Roar2 min letti
Love Is Not All We Need
IT starts with love. Pretty much everything that’s good and decent in us—generosity, kindness, connection, respect, morality, openness, responsibility—is a form of love. It’s almost a tautology: what is love is good; what is good is love. But love is
Lion's Roar3 min letti
The Heart of Good Spiritual Friends
THE BUDDHA SAID, “Friendship is not half of the spiritual life, but all of it.” But what’s a good spiritual friend in the time of Covid-19? How can we show up for one another in the midst of so much hurt? The Buddha’s formula of the four noble truths
Lion's Roar5 min lettiSelf-Improvement
The Path of Liberation through Anger By Lama Rod Owens North Atlantic Books 2020; 256 pp., $17.95 (paper) “Anger is full of wisdom,” writes Lama Rod Owens, “and with the appropriate practice, anger can actually transform into wisdom, and that wisdom
Lion's Roar2 min letti
More From Lion’s Roar
In recognition of His Holiness’s 85th birthday, we’re re-releasing our special Collector’s Edition publication, The Dalai Lama. (Previously planned for release in May, it was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.) It features a gorgeous and in-dep
Lion's Roar4 min letti
Loving-Kindness | May All Beings Be Happy
PRECARIOUS TIMES LIKE THE SE call for us to be quiet and listen to our hearts. According to its etymology, the word “precarious” derives from the Latin prefix prec, which means “prayer.” An especially potent form of prayer for times of crisis like th
Lion's Roar9 min letti
WHEN she was a child growing up, Mayumi Oda loved visiting an ancient shrine in Kamakura. Located in a cave, it was dedicated to the Hindu/Buddhist goddess Sarasvati, known in Japan as Benzaiten. Because Benzaiten is a goddess of wealth, people would
Lion's Roar7 min letti
Erased No More
THIS TIME IT HAPPENED at the silent retreat. Even the know-it-all didn’t know it all. Even the big people falter. Even the teachers. It is so easy to surrender my intelligence to them, my own knowing to theirs. Smile and say, yeah, like I don’t know.
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