Stories and practices
from the Buddhist path
in the modern world.

Ordinary people
Extraordinary confidence.

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spiritual friends.
Home2020-11-28T04:25:09+00:00

About

This is a work in progress multimedia project exploring the diversity of Buddhist lay practice in a complex modern life. Eventually, the project will culminate in a book and a series of short films. Meanwhile, I am looking for practitioners throughout US add their voice to this documentary. Being a long term project, I am exploring this project as an outer pilgrimage to uncover the buddha next door as well as my inward journey into true liberation.

Themes

Until I can find a collaborator to write a better narrative, I  am structuring the project around themes that may interest people that are curious about how the path manifests in modern practitioner’s life. With the vastness of teachings by notable teachers already available online, the focus of these stories reflect the embodiment and impact that the path has in real life. 

2020-11-13T20:00:35+00:00

Teachers

Teachers and students discuss the role 'teachers' in their respective lineage.

2020-11-13T19:06:00+00:00

Sangha

Practitioners discuss the importance of sangha.

2020-11-13T19:07:11+00:00

Other Practices

Practitioners rely on an array of other practices to navigate life's challenges.

2020-11-23T14:14:30+00:00

Ngondro

A foundational practice of Vajrayana.

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2020-11-15T23:51:45+00:00

Genjo

I started my Zen practice in 1975, got ordained in 1980, and trained in Japan briefly from the fall of 1981 to February of 1982, so I had one training season there.

2020-12-02T20:02:24+00:00

Jogen

Jogen Salzberg, Sensei has been practicing Zen since 1997, he entered monastic training at Great Vow in 2003 and received Dharma Transmission from Chozen Bays, Roshi and Hogen Bays, Roshi in 2017.

2020-11-16T19:21:08+00:00

Bryn

Besides reading a few books over the years, I was first exposed to Buddhism twenty years ago. I was in a transition period of my life, leaving a relationship and moving to a new town. One of my main goals was to find a spiritual community.

2020-11-16T19:26:12+00:00

Dottie

Nothing seemed to fit, however, until I began to be introduced to Buddhism. At first it was Insight Meditation, and then I moved to a town where the only Buddhist community was a Tibetan Buddhist Center.

2020-11-23T21:14:29+00:00

Clare

i was first exposed to buddhism as a teenager and though this is definitely not for me - all that focus on suffering ! growing up in a catholic family suited my devotional /wild girl nature quite well.

2020-11-24T20:03:35+00:00

David

The show Kung Fu at about age 11. I recall watching the meditation and wanting the peace it showed. It was of great use when parents used to argue and Dad active alcoholic violence.

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Your Spiritual Friends

As much as I would like to showcase an authentic reflection of ‘diverse’ practitioners in the west, the reality of this issue is beyond the scope of this narrative. Consider these subjects as spiritual friends that are brave enough to share these stories about their intimate practice. 

As a word of caution, spiritual seekers, especially within the Buddhist tradition, rarely discuss (much less proselytize) their beliefs and practices outside of their community. From a practical level, in this day and age, being ‘religious’ and not wanting to be hypocritical are notable reasons why most of us don’t share how much the practice has influenced our lives. Like all journeys, the path to liberation is rarely so straightforward but the confidence comes from knowing how to navigate. 

Notes

From time to time, you may find these notes about the project and my pilgrimage slightly entertaining.  

Buddhist Films

I've been keeping an eye out of buddhist related films/docs for some time now and it's great to see in depth docs by others to inspire me. If you're a tricycle subscriber, you can see the films in their full length. [...]

Great Vow Monastery

Even though I would love to explore the theme of what sangha looks like, access to group environments have been challenging. I was fortunate to have permission from my subject, the senior teacher at the monastery, to roam the 'campus' after [...]

Pilgrimage

I didn't start this journey with too many expectations and was just generally excited to commit more time to work on this project. I had originally frame it as a 'walkabout' in the west but a wonderful teacher helped [...]

Introducing Video

In this day in age of attention deficits and instant gratification, I had short debate on how much video I wanted to incorporate into this project. Nonetheless, it become pretty evident that the stories that people were sharing and their passion [...]

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