Starting with the Buddha's teachings on Right View, the first aspect of the Noble Eightfold Path, this issue explores the Mahayana teachings of the ultimate view-the emptiness of all forms and phenomena-from several teacher's perspectives. As Shugen Roshi offers in his discourse, our view is shaped by our constant positioning of self, which limits our experience of what is real. When we take into account the components of Right View-the karma we struggle with, the impermanence we'd rather avoid seeing-we can begin releasing ourselves from fear and aversion, seeing through the cherished opinions we usually take for real.
How does a practice of direct experience help us navigate the minefield of right and wrong? Dharma teacher Pema Chodron explores creative ways of breaking down the walls of 'otherness.' Writings by ancient Ch'an Masters point directly to the qualities of an awakened mind, qualities we are reminded are innate-our true nature-and always available to us even in our delusion. Several authors investigate aspects of life where our view can change radically-be it through love as writes James Baldwin, through exploration of the tensions of embedded racism and bigotry that Beth Loffreda writes about, or in dismantling old habitual ways of being as told in Sangha Reflections stories. Includes writing by the teachers of the Mountains and Rivers Order, Pema Chodron, James Baldwin, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.