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My concern with the issue of Buddhism Today I read through (Fall-Winter 2009) came right away on page 5. I had in my hands "part 2" of the 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas. I am generally bothered by magazines that provide multi-part content. Imagine the scene. I am sitting down with a nice cup of tea, preparing to relax with wonderful content, and I start reading "We have now completed the preliminaries, the seven mind trainings." Wait - we did? What preliminaries? Right from the start I get the sense that I've missed out, that it would be fruitless to even try reading this article and "catch up". It's not a good feeling to get at the very beginning of a magazine you were looking forward to reading.
Still, I begin reading the article. The "first" entry in here is the Eighth Verse. I am told that "The teaching of this verse is for practitioners of the lowest category" - but I have no idea what the lowest category means. Is that me? Is it practitioners who have been "acting inappropriately" until now? Subsequent verses also refer to things I am unsure of. Maybe it was explained in the previous issue, which I do not have.
Well, OK. On to the next article. This one is "What Happened in Kalimpong?" The intro to the article says "Here I offer a new awareness, beyond the reflections published earlier (1)." The (1) apparently refers to a journal he published in 2008 that has the base story. So now not only do I need to get the previous issue of this magazine, but I also have to get this book as well in order to understand the current issue. Read more ›