This issue of Mountain Record explores the theme “Facing Truth.” To a large degree, the work of a spiritual life involves bridging the distance between the true equality of all things and our entrenched perceptions of difference, which almost always posit one thing above another. Front and center is our perception of the self that needs to be protected above all else. Throughout this edition, spiritual teachers, writers and activists grapple with self and other, equality and difference, social justice and realization. The Buddhist path offers a path to liberation, but whose liberation? Can we be truly free and at peace while our brothers and sisters remain in bondage?
The question of expressing truth runs like a thread through the issue—words and ideas can codify difference, making one thing superior, another inferior, yet language is also a powerful tool on the road to freedom. You’ll find classic teachings and modern perspectives on how language binds us and how it can set us free. Can the voices that follow help us to close the distance between self and other? Do they unsettle our harmful assumptions? Shugen Sensei writes, “If it is a true path, it will challenge you. You will be uncomfortable.” According to the dharma, the discomfort of life is a given. But discomfort as it arises on the journey toward truth—that’s more like the growing pains of the heart as it opens.
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