In this, our twentieth-anniversary issue of Inquiring Mind, we offer stories from along the path, by both teachers and sangha members: tales of insight, foolishness, triumphs and pratfalls. We begin with tales by some of our senior American vipassana teachers—Ruth Denison, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield—about the early days of bringing the teachings from Asia to the West. Patrice Clark Koelsh describes committing to her Bodhisattva vow at a wildlife refuge center in “Opening the Heart to the Feathered and Furry.” In “Wan Di Di,” Ronna Kabatznick tells a poignant story of finding healing and insight during a day with three generations of rural Thai women.
We also present provocative interviews. In “Talkin’ bout our G-G-Generations,” Wes Nisker and Noah Levine compare the dharma of the Beat and hippie generations with that of modern-day punks, recently described by Levine in his spiritual memoir, Dharma Punx. In an important dialogue, two scholars of Islam and Buddhism discuss the resonances and historical connections between these two great world religions.
Finally, in celebration of our anniversary, we allow ourselves to get a little wild and crazy, and you will find the results in a special humor section in the center of this issue. Enjoy.
Sands of Time. 6.75″ x 14″. 2002. © Steven Poe.
“My photo illustrations represent images that come to me from dreams and other ways of knowing. Natural systems teach us how feedback loops provide the information for keeping a system in balance. My theory is that art and creativity that originate from subconscious thought, dreams and other ways of ‘knowing’ are the self-correcting tools that our social and ecological systems need for rebalancing. The theory goes on to suggest that when artists produce from this perspective, positive change will take place through mutual causality.” —Steven Poe