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Selections from That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist by Sylvia Boorstein, Copyright © 1997 by Sylvia Boorstein.  Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 


"Clearly, this was my issue, not anyone elseís. No one is mad at me. Iíve been announcing myself, regularly, at Buddhist teachersí meetings, and it causes no ripple at all."

Sylvia Boorstein, That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist
Part 3

One More River (continued)

Clearly, this was my issue, not anyone elseís. No one is mad at me. Iíve been announcing myself, regularly, at Buddhist teachersí meetings, and it causes no ripple at all. I feel anticipatory alarm, I tell my truth, and it is completely a nonevent.

Recently I was one of twenty-six teachers meeting with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, to discuss how we are teaching Buddhism in the West. As part of the preparation for our meeting, we each answered the question, "What is the greatest current spiritual challenge in your practice and teaching?"

I thought, "Okay, this is it! These are major teachers in all lineages, these are people I respect and who I hope will respect me." And I said my truth: "I am a Jew. These days I spend a lot of my time teaching Buddhist meditation to Jews. It gives me special pleasure to teach Jews, and sometimes special problems. I feel itís my calling, though, something Iím supposed to do. And Iím worried that someone here will think Iím doing something wrong. Someone will say, ĎYouíre not a real Buddhist!í"

It was another nonevent. I think Ė I hope Ė that was the "One Last River to Cross." I never did ask the Dalai Lama if what Iím doing is okay. It had become, for me, a nonquestion by the time we got to our meetings with him.

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