Breaking Through the Dharma Wall

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Ben Hutchison’s piece for The Under 35 Project is a great reminder of how our path unfolds when we are no longer caught by the path itself. In practicing Buddhism, in whatever form or lineage you choose, there is going to be loss and disappointment. As Dogen writes in Genjokoan, “flowers fall amid our longing and weeds spring up amid or antipathy.” …

Dialogs With My Teacher #52

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December 28, 2010 (#52) Student: What is the difference between knowing and believing? Michael: Both are activities of the mind that can be useful. If, for instance, you know something, you generally have some kind of evidence to back up your mental position. With belief you don’t need the same evidence. In fact, very often, our beliefs are rooted in …

Why the Young Are Losing Their Religion

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A student at Duke offers up this interesting article in the Huffington Post: Newspapers and op-ed writers have noted that more and more members of the younger generations are turning away from Christianity. As a college student, I can tell you that from personal experience, this is true. The statistics are correct. Fewer college students are going to church, and …

No Room for Superstition

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Mary Midgley over at the Guardian suggests that we quit seeing ourselves as God, thereby reversing the trends that accompany this mindset: If we ask, then, what religious change is most urgently needed today, the best answer surely is that we should debunk and explode this anthropolatrous superstition. We do not need it. Its bad practical effects are clear, not …

Faith That Lacks Faith

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TIME Magazine’s David van Biema gives us 2008’s Top 10 stories on religion. For my money, this story is especially fascinating since it applies to our sangha in really specific ways. A 35,000-person poll by the Pew Forum for Religion & Public Life found that 28% of U.S. adults have left their cradle faith for another one — 44% if …