The relationship between liberation and sanctification is the theme of this issue, and each of the articles we feature speaks to some aspect of that theme as it is experienced in a life of spiritual practice. But please don’t look for consensus, for it is not to be found. What you will find is a rich collection of diverse insights.
We begin with a forum entitled “Turning Words” in which five highly esteemed teachers—the venerable U Pandita Sayadaw, Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Ruth Denison and Joanna Macy—speak directly and often quite pointedly to our theme and the issues it raises. San Francisco Zen Center Abbot Norman Fischer, senior vipassana meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg, and Buddhist scholar Steven Goodman all bring a wealth of insight and knowledge to essays in which they, so to speak, take the ball and run, each finding in the problem posed a means to open up and reveal essential wisdom for the practice of the Buddha-dharma. In their reflective essays, Patrick McMahon, Anita Barrows and Diana Winston stay close to the ground of their own experience, and in so doing they bring to the reader spiritual knowledge that is fresh and hard-won. In a series of beautiful explorations of our theme, Jane Hirshfield, Susan Griffin, Rick Fields, Stephan Bodian and Rachel Norton grace our poetry pages.