Inquiring Mind, the thirty-year-old biannual that is one of the longest-standing publications for Dharma practitioners in North America, has a new issue out devoted entirely to “War and Peace”. The special issue also brings in a guest co-editor: Hozan Alan Senauke, founder of the Clear View Project, one of the founders of Think Sangha, vice-abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center, former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and author of the brand new book Heirs To Ambedkar: The Rebirth of Engaged Buddhism in India.
In his introduction, Hozan writes:
As editors of this issue, [Inquiring Mind co-founder/editor-in-chief] Barbara Gates and I have tried to give voice to multiple points of view: the way of the warrior, the path of nonviolence, the voice of protests, and the grief of those left behind. Those voices, based on the lived experience of fellow practitioners, are moving and passionate. Each deserves your attention and thought. And, of course, there are many more that we wish we had space for. Our intention was not to be all-sided in some “value-free” fashion, but to present conflicting views and to encourage you as readers to inquire deeply and reach your own conclusions.
I have my views, some of them entrenched. Barbara has hers. Doubtless you have yours. It is safe to say that all the people in this issue see themselves as doing the work of peace. We all have different maps leading there, different notions of what is force or violence, and different understandings of appropriate action. In the end, each of us must choose her or his way wisely. Toward this end, I like to recall these words from Mother Teresa: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
The contents of the issue include:
War and Peace: A Buddhist Perspective
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi affirms the Buddha’s call to put down our weapons but wonders if there aren’t times when military force could be the most moral choice.
Karma of Dissent: An Interview with Ann Wright
Influenced by Buddhist teachings, Ann Wright resigns from the U.S. State Department in protest against the Iraq War.
Message from a Combat MedicThere Is No Other: A Roadmap to Nonviolence
On an Afghan airfield, Angela Caruso-Yahne is invited to write a message on a bomb soon to be delivered to its target, and considers the complexities of her own call to service.
Michael Nagler points to Gandhian nonviolence as the bridge between spiritual practice and social change.
MINDFULNESS & THE MILITARY
The Thousand-Year View: An Interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn
Is it skillful to teach mindfulness to soldiers going to war? Jon Kabat-Zinn says yes, with discernment to maximize the wholesome and minimize harm.
Cultivating the Mind of a Warrior
After years in military intelligence, Elizabeth Stanley, founder of the Mind Fitness Training Institute, says an effective warrior is both monk and killer.
The Militarization of Mindfulness
Ronald Purser challenges the mindfulness revolution: as an attention-enhancement technique, mindfulness is easily subordinated for military purposes.
Mental Armor: An Interview with Neuroscientist Amishi Jha
Attention researcher Amishi Jha suggests that soldiers trained in mindfulness can control when—or when not—to pull the trigger.
Amid chopper sounds, rumbling tanks and machine-gun fire, Margaret Cullen teaches mindfulness to military wives.
Memorial for a Military Man
On the 60th anniversary of Bonnie O’Brien Jonsson’s father becoming MIA in Korea, she attends his full military funeral and wonders, “Who am I to judge my father?”
SELF-IMMOLATION & TIBET
Notes from the Ashes
Martine Batchelor introduces compelling last notes left by the immolators.
Our People Want Freedom
Director of the Tibetan Nuns Project and sister-in-law of the Dalai Lama Rinchen Khando Choegyal tells us, “Don’t say they shouldn’t have done it. It’s done. Ask: what did they wish?”
Hozan Alan Senauke reluctantly questions the dharmic implications and the strategic value of self-immolation as a tool for social change.
Begging Bowl of Tears
When Barbara Gates finds herself wheelchair-bound for three months, a mirage of a forest monk coalesces in her kitchen and urges her to be content with what life puts into her bowl.
Practice: How Do I Contribute to War?
Ven. Pannavati Bhikkuni asks: how do our everyday actions cause war? How can we end it?
The Dharma & The Drama: War Is Over
Wes Nisker exposes the absurdity of war and exhorts us to sing along with John Lennon: “War is over! If you want it.”
You can read some of the articles, as well as online exclusives, at Inquiring Mind’s website here: www.inquiringmind.com/Current.html