What Does it Mean To Be A Buddhist?

Buddhism is a 2,600-year-old living tradition stemming from the teachings of the historical Shakyamuni Buddha (c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE). A living tradition means that it survives both through the preservation of the words of the Buddha, and the direct experience of these words extent in the minds/hearts of realized practitioners.

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An Open Letter to the Next Generation of Artists

Some of you may know that I have a history as both a jazz drummer and the son of a well known jazz bassist (Frank Tusa). For as long as I can remember, jazz culture and music have been a part of my life. When I was a kid my dad would take me to Jazz festivals and some of the first records I ever heard featured Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.

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The Art of an Open Question

Growing up jewish, I have vivid childhood memories of the jewish holidays throughout the year. Apples and honey at new year. Costumes and cookies with delicious filling at Purim. Chocolate money and eight days of presents at Hanukkah (I'm sure you are starting to see a pattern here) When I reflect back, it seems that as long as there was delicious food, I was okay with whatever boring activities surrounded it.

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Joy as a Radical Act

It seems that joy is in high demand and short supply these days. At the intersections of increasing cost of living, less free time, and an abundance of social and political upheaval, it's not a surprise that many of us are looking for more skillful ways to deal with life's stresses and find more joy. 

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On Loneliness and Interdependence

The following excerpt is a short writing on loneliness by H.H. the 17th Karmapa, the current head of the Karma Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. This writing hit home for me in so many different ways, as it takes a lot of courage to speak one's truth despite the social and political consequences. It is also very rare for the head of a Tibetan Buddhist lineage to be so publicly vulnerable.

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Dreamlike Enlightenment: A Six-day Retreat with Tsoknyi Rinpoche

On November 3, 120 participants gathered at Garrison Institute for a six-day silent retreat with Tsoknyi Rinpoche. The retreat, “Dreamlike Enlightenment: Understanding Illusion from a Dzogchen Perspective,” explored the intersections of a grounded sense of emotional well-being in the body, and the Dzogchen path of inner freedom through recognizing our own inner luminosity or rigpa.

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